If you’re a BMW customer that’s been begging the Bavarians to build you an M3 Touring, you were likely disappointed with the recent news that such a car will never exist. According to the M Division, an M3 Touring isn’t in the cars because customers would prefer X4 Ms instead. Apparently, the customer isn’t always right. But I digress. For those of you saddened by that news, look no further than the upcoming ALPINA B3 Touring, which has just been caught testing ahead of its reveal. (We don’t own the spy photos but see them here)
The ALPINA B3 Touring is the closest thing you’ll get to a proper M3 Touring. Though, in some ways, it could actually be better. Because ALPINA typically focuses more on high-speed stability, comfort and luxury, more so than outright sharpness, its cars are usually better daily drivers than M cars. And isn’t the entire point of a fast wagon to be a great daily driver?
When the ALPINA B3 Touring finally debuts at the upcoming 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show, it will boast M3-levels of power and performance, or close to it. Rather than the S58 engine used by the upcoming M3, the B3 Touring will instead get an ALPINA-tuned version of BMW’s B58 engine, from the M340i. Typcially, ALPINA’s tuning involves new pistons, new intake manifold, new exhaust manifold, two larger turbos instead of one smaller one, better cooling and an ECU tune. Considering BMW can push near 400 hp with ease with that engine, without any of those extra bits, it’s likely not hard to make 500 hp with ALPINA’s help.
In these spy photos, we can see the ALPINA B3 Touring in some camo but with enough exposed to get a good idea of its styling. There are two big things to point out, though; one is the fact that the new 3 Series looks great with ALPINAs wheels (because everything does) and the other is the fact that the B3 still has the M340i’s grilles. We’re not sure if the production model will keep those grilles or if it’s just because this is a test mule built off of an M340i. We’ll find out for sure soon enough, as we’ll see the M340i in Frankfurt.