Even though BMW developed the M3 Touring E46 back in 2000, it wasn’t until 2016 that the one-of-a-kind super wagon was revealed to the public. Finished in Chrome Shadow metallic and riding on 19-inch M Styling 67 alloy wheels, the fast estate was showcased this month at Villa Erba on the shores of Lake Como in Italy during the Concorso Eleganza Villa d’Este. It was joined by none other than its spiritual successor, the M3 Touring G81.

When the unique M3 wagon was revealed some seven years ago, BMW M boss of vehicle prototype building and workshops Jakob Polschak said: “This prototype allowed us to show that, from a purely technical standpoint at least, it was possible to integrate an M3 Touring into the ongoing production of the standard BMW 3 Series Touring with very little difficulty.” The biggest issue was adapting the rear doors to fit the redesigned rear wheel arches without necessitating new and pricey tools. Even though that was achieved, the performance estate sadly never saw the light of production day.

Photos by: Instagram @tobidrives and @hfmstrs

Painted in high-gloss black before spraying bright silver on top of it, the M3 E46 Touring that never was used most of the parts that were developed for the Coupe and Cabrio versions but with a twist. Aside from the obvious changes made at the rear, the wagon had a special seat cover between the Alcantara side bolsters. BMW referred to it as “F1” and had a metallic surface that wasn’t available on other products in 2000.

At the heart of the original M3 Touring was the familiar S54B32, a naturally aspirated inline-six 3.2-liter engine with 343 horsepower and 365 Newton-meters (269 pound-feet) of torque. The regular coupe did 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 5.2 seconds, but the wagon was likely a tad slower given its higher curb weight. 13 years since this one-off E46 was created, its modern-day equivalent has 510 hp and 650 Nm (479 lb-ft) for a sprint in just 3.6 seconds.

Photos by: Instagram @tobidrives and @hfmstrs

There was no such thing as an xDrive M car back then whereas in 2023 most of them send power to both axles. The M3 Touring is available strictly with all-wheel drive, but you can still get the base M3 with RWD and even a stick shift. [Photos by: Instagram @tobidrives and @hfmstrs]