The BMW M3 Touring is the first of its kind. After decades of fans asking for an M3 wagon, the Bavarians finally delivered. However, it isn’t the first M3 to be usable as a daily driver. Over the course of the M3’s six generations, there have been four sedans, three of which were gathered at the Knockhill Race Circuit in Scotland, alongside the new M3 Touring, to show the lineage of such semi-practical sports cars.
When the BMW M3 first debuted, it was only a coupe. The E30 M3 as simply a homologated race car, sold to customers for road use simply so BMW could take it racing. However, every subsequent M3 has been built as a road car first, with race car variants being made afterward. The first of such M3s was the E36 M3, which went from being a homologated race car to a genuinely usable, relatively spacious sports car and what really drove that point home was the fact that it was available with four doors.
BMW then seemed to have lost faith in the E36 M3 sedan, due to lower than expected sales figures. For the next-generation ‘E46’ M3, the sedan was ditched, though a convertible was gained. All is forgiven, though, as the E46 M3 may be one of the greatest driver’s cars ever made. However, BMW did return to the four-door M3 with the following generation, the E90 generation. The E90 M3 was a radically different car that its predecessors, with a big stonking V8, more weight and size than ever before, and a more premium, upscale cabin. However, its astonishing V8 engine made it thrilling in its own way.
BMW kept the sedan ball rolling with the F80 generation. In fact, BMW doubled down, making the M3 name fit for sedans only. In fact, the M3 lost its coupe body style altogether for the F80-gen, as the coupe version because the F82 BMW M4. The F80 M3 was a good car but probably not as loved as it deserved to be.
Finally, we’re onto the M3 Touring. The new G81-gen BMW M3 Touring is the fist M3 wagon and also one of the best driving M3s of all time. Its styling is a bit controversial but its driving dynamics are anything but. All of the aforementioned BMW M3 models were gathered at Knockhill for a bit of a family reunion and photo shoot. The colors of each car are as follows: Brooklyn Grey (G80) BMW M3 Touring, Sakhir Orange (F80), Jerez Black (E90), and Estoril Blue (E36).
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Photos: Kabir A Zaman, @kabizzz / Cars: BMW M3 Touring – @johnclarkbmw / BMW M3 F80 – @boombasticbros / BMW M3 E90 – @rinsenshine / BMW M3 E36 – @john.adams.77312