BMW stopped selling wagons in the United States after the F31 was retired, but the practical body style still has a lot of fans in North America. Sadly, the M3 Touring introduced this year in Europe, Australia, Japan, and other markets will remain a forbidden fruit in the US. Americans are likely to get the next-generation 5 Series as an M5 Touring, but in the meantime, the old Sports Wagons are still cherished.
Motor Trend decided to breathe new life into an E91 that originally had an N52 engine. The inline-six had over 250,000 miles (more than 400,000 kilometers) on the clock and was getting expensive to maintain. The 3.0-liter made way for a much larger 6.0-liter LS V8 that was upgraded with various mods, including a different camshaft, an LS6 throttle body, and rebuilt cylinder port heads.
Another major overhaul involved getting rid of the original automatic transmission to make room for a six-speed manual, a Tremec transmission originally developed for General Motors’ F-body performance cars. With a big V8 and a stick shift sending power to the rear wheels, the amped-up 2007 3 Series Touring headed to the Holley LS Fest hosted in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
It was a good opportunity to find out how much power the car made following the engine transplant. The dyno test showed the modified wagon was making 322 horsepower and 383 pound-feet (519 Newton-meters) of torque at the wheels. Back in the E61 era, the N52-powered model made up to 255 hp and 220 lb-ft (300 Nm) at the crank in the 330i, so the LS swap brought a substantial hike. It’s especially true after you apply the “rule” about losing anywhere between 10 to 15% from the crank to the wheels.
Beyond the engine and gearbox swaps, the 3 Series Touring was also fitted with an air suspension, M-branded steering knuckles, and aftermarket wheels from fifteen52.
Source: MotorTrend Channel / YouTube