At long last, BMW is giving the M3 a longer roof and a bigger boot. While the E46 M3 Touring was a one-time prototype affair, 2022 will be the year when you’ll finally be able to buy a speedy 3 Series wagon benefitting from the full-fat M treatment. However, it initially wasn’t supposed to happen. In an interview with Auto Motor und Sport, former M CEO Markus Flasch admitted the Mercedes-AMG C63 Estate wasn’t originally planned for this M3 generation.
When asked by the German journalists for which car he had to fight particularly hard for so that it could see the light of production day, the man responsible for the M division in the last three years answered: “The M3 Touring is certainly one of them, because it was never part of a company-wide strategy. It was conceived by creative minds in Garching [where BMW has an R&D center] and suddenly emerged from the workshop like a submarine. And it was so convincingly made that we very quickly received approval for series production. For me, this is also a sign that the organization is extremely healthy, committed, and intrinsically motivated.”
As to why BMW needed decades to introduce a production-ready M3 Touring, Markus Flasch – who is now in charge of the large car division – explained the conditions have never been this favorable until the G20-generation 3 Series arrived. Specifically, the rear axles of the sedan and wagon are now identical in concept.
Not only that, but the M3 boasts optional all-wheel drive for the first time ever, “which is indispensable in the high-performance station wagon segment.” The use of the word “indispensable” suggests there won’t be a tail-happy M3 Touring. The last statement isn’t all too surprising considering our sources close to the matter told us back in October 2020 that the M3 Touring would only be offered in the Competition spec with xDrive and an automatic transmission. A forbidden fruit in the United States, the hotly anticipated sports wagon from Bavaria is expected to enter production in November 2022.
It’s going to be a relatively short-lived product as reports state it will exit the assembly line in 2025, meaning it would only be offered for three years. It is believed the M3 Touring will be based on the facelifted M3 sedan, so logic tells us it’s going to boast the new side-by-side screen setup that was introduced with iDrive 8.
As a final note, Markus Flasch revealed during the same interview with Auto Motor und Sport the upcoming M4 CSL will lose over 100 kilograms (220 pounds).