When BMW officially announced the upcoming M3 Touring, the enthusiast community rejoiced. And for good reason, it was a joyous occasion, as the decades of wishes of so many enthusiasts had come finally come true. However, the American enthusiast market suffered a bit of a blow, as BMW also announced the M3 Touring would stay east of the Atlantic. American enthusiasts were naturally upset, as dreams of owning a proper BMW M3 Touring was given but immediately taken away. BMW has its reasons, though, and they’re legitimate ones. They’ll mean little to the frustrated Americans with the means and willingness to buy an M3 Touring, but they’re legitimate reasons nevertheless.
During a recent chat with BMW North America representatives, we learned that BMW North American branch took notice of the immense enthusiast response to the M3 Touring and, together with BMW M, revisited the idea of bringing it to the U.S. market. “We revisited whether the car could be homologated for the U.S. market, but unfortunately, it was found to be cost prohibitive,” a BMW spokesperson told us.
There is more to the story though. Many years back, BMW made the decision to stop selling Sports Wagons (Touring models) in the United States at all. Because crash regulations for the U.S. are different than in Europe, changes need to be made to homologate tourings for the US market. Of course, that costs a lot of money, especially for crash testing purposes. Therefore, we believe that BMW wasn’t about to do that for another market, especially if the return wasn’t worth the investment.
While the enthusiast market was enthusiastic about the idea of the M3 Touring in America, the amount of enthusiasts that would actually put their money down for one is likely not high enough, or at least estimated to be high enough, to sell it here. Furthermore, the BMW M3 Touring will have a shorter production run than the G80 M3 and G82 M4 models and the allocation is allegedly sold out. That will turn the M3 Touring into a low volume car which will certainly go down in history as a collector’s item.
Now, one could point to cars like the Audi RS6 Avant and Mercedes-AMG E63 S Wagon as two cars from brands who felt otherwise. Though, both brands are in different situations. Audi’s RS6 body and safety gear already passed U.S. regulations with the A6 Allroad, making it easy to homologate for the ‘States. While the AMG E63 Wagon is a car only owned by the wealthiest of Mercedes-Benz customers, so even if Mercedes loses money on that specific car, it’s keeping its very lucrative customers happy. BMW was in neither position with the M3 Touring, thus the decision to keep it out of the US.
It’s sad, as American enthusiasts, that we won’t get to drive the new M3 Touring but, even as Americans ourselves, we’re still happy that it’s going to exist. I’d rather see Europeans get to own a real-deal M3 Touring, while I can’t, than no one at all.
[Top Rendering by Motor.es]