It’s lastly right here! This is the brand new 503bhp BMW M3 Touring

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First Look

After a lifetime of ready, M Division rolls out the hardcore 3 Series property. Still need that RS4?

A BMW M3 Touring. At final. How lengthy have we been pestering BMW M to present us one among these? So lengthy that the overwhelming feeling is one among reduction. But doesn’t the timing really feel proper? Not to say the package deal.

Let’s begin there. 500 litres at one finish, 503bhp on the different. Both are good numbers. We most likely discover it simpler to contextualise the latter, so let’s have a better take a look at the previous first. It’s unchanged from the common 3 Series Touring. No discount to make means for an even bigger exhaust again field, 4WD or redesigned suspension, and it’s simply as characteristic packed. There’s underfloor storage, hooks, magnetic rails to carry equipment in place and the ever-useful opening rear window. Fold the seats and also you’ve obtained 1,500 litres. Tip runs ahoy.

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Unsurprisingly it’s virtually identically sized and formed to the Audi RS4’s load bay. It’s additionally – in case it’s useful – usefully greater and higher formed than a Porsche Taycan Sport Turismo again there. Bigger within the again seats, too. It’ll deal with household issues.

But extra importantly, it appears bloody superior. The stance, the proportion, the very fact we will justifiably deal with the rear three-quarter and never need to enterprise around the entrance of the automotive… invaluable stuff. Yeah, Bugs Bunny’s imprint continues to be there and whereas the shock worth has lessened, the sensation that BMW may have completed so a lot better hasn’t. But the property again finish attracts the eye, rebalancing the visuals.

It has presence, that’s for positive, and BMW’s color palette division has been taking part in a blinder not too long ago – two details that mix to make sure the unassuming, underwhelming Audi RS4 will stay the forgotten choice, and the forthcoming Merc-AMG C63 wagon (as but unannounced however certainly inevitable) can have its work reduce out to maintain up.

This has the potential to hit a bulls-eye every little thing else misses

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That will play a tech card that BMW has assiduously averted. We’ll see the C63 saloon shortly and be taught extra about its full hybrid powertrain. But we’re not satisfied about electrical or hybrid for efficiency automobiles but, are we? There’s no texture or tone to an electrical motor. But a twin turbocharged 3.0-litre straight six? Now we’re speaking. 503bhp and 479lb ft with the torque out there all over the place from 2,750-5,500rpm. The mid-range can be thunderous, despite the fact that it really works by means of an eight velocity automated gearbox. Nope, not even in an property is it the suitable reply.

There’s just one mannequin out there, however it’s emphatically the suitable one. Competition-spec for the upper energy output, and xDrive 4WD for year-round safety. No handbook choice. It’s an property, no-one would have it. 0-62mph takes 3.7secs, claims BMW. Bet it doesn’t. I timed an xDrive M3 to 60mph in 3.2secs, 100mph in 7.4secs. This gained’t be any slower. Weight has solely climbed 25kg from the 1,730kg saloon – and that’s principally come not from bodywork modifications, however further strengthening put in to maintain the chassis as inflexible because the saloon’s.

So what else has modified? Well, because the modest weight achieve is on the rear, the suspension at that finish has been given extra assist: fractionally stiffer springs and dampers. The carbon roof has gone, your decisions are physique color or gloss black, whereas on the trailing edge there’s a brand new roof spoiler. 3D printed for boastability.

Body alterations are pricey, so have been saved to a minimal. The rear doorways are shared with the saloon. Surely the designers would have most popular a extra voluptuous door pores and skin to guide in to the swollen rear arch. Instead now we have a slightly sudden kink. Ahead of the B-pillars the property is similar to the saloon.

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The cabin’s similar, with the small proviso that this (and all M3s constructed now) is fitted with the newly upgraded infotainment shared with iX and i4. A mixed 27.2-inches of glass throughout the sprint, Best of luck driving that, though BMW does (fortunately) nonetheless embody a rotary controller with the touchscreen. Seats, driving place, materials high quality and button-to-screen ratio is all on level.

It’ll be a rip-roarer, that a lot is obvious. Capable I think, not solely of seeing off the specter of the Audi RS4, however taking the battle to the following class up. The present RS6 and E63 are mighty machines, however they’re additionally too large to punt down B-roads. And heavy. We’ve all had a pop on the M3’s weight improve, however it’s nonetheless quarter of a tonne lighter than an RS6 or E63. They’re additionally £100k motors today when the M3 Touring will pitch up at £80,550 – the equal M3 saloon is £78,425.

Yeah, it’s nonetheless a mad sum of money for a 3 Series, however don’t even let the phrase ‘super-SUV’ into your head proper now. Yes, an X3M or a GLC63 or a Macan Turbo or an F-Pace SVR or an RS Q8 (there’s sufficient of them on the market) does the velocity and house stuff, however it’s all the time going to be inferior to drive, with stilted dynamics and poor effectivity. I do know folks nonetheless purchase them, and perhaps it’s good they do because it retains them away from automobiles we all know are inherently cooler – automobiles that we nod approvingly at and quietly lust after and have because the OG arrived again in 1994. Audi’s RS2, lest we neglect.

The query is why it’s taken BMW so lengthy to get spherical to it. Audi’s by no means given up on the recent property, made the area of interest its personal for a few years in reality, regardless of Mercedes-AMG being practically as fast on the uptake with its first, a C43, touchdown in 1998. But BMW? Well, it had a go at an M3 wagon prototype again in 2001, however the E46 M3 was coupe-only (the one era because the E30 to not have spawned a saloon) and the complexity of placing a Touring into manufacturing would have meant modifications proper again to chassis stage. Any different era and it might need obtained the go-ahead. But it didn’t so we’ve been disadvantaged till now.

36 years of M3 till one with a fifth door. There have been two M5 wagons, first an E34 in 1992, then once more with 2007’s E61. For no matter motive BMW has chosen to not repeat the expertise for 15 years now. That motive is straightforward to infer: there’s no want for a scorching wagon when the fast-family-car viewers is demanding SUVs. And BMW has shovelled them out as frantically as a coal stoker, M variations of the X3, X4, X5, X6 and even the X7, to an viewers greedier for them than the Flying Scotsman’s furnace.

Against that backdrop, doesn’t the M3 appear like a classy selection? Lower, leaner, crisper, it’ll be an all-weather, any situation automotive. Not with out a few minor drawbacks, although. Sorry America, this one’s not for you. The customary 3 Series Touring isn’t homologated on the market over there, so neither is that this. It joins the Toyota GR Yaris on the listing of ‘cool stuff we get that our cousins don’t’. The large markets would be the UK and Germany, adopted by Japan and Australia. Find a towbar helpful? Sorry, you possibly can’t have one on this M3 or some other. I discover that irritating, know already it’ll value BMW a couple of gross sales.

We’ve criticised the saloon and coupe for his or her weight, the marginally blunt steering and gearbox, however we’ll reduce the property some slack as a result of its transient is totally different. On paper there’s little or no to complain about right here. I actually suppose this has the potential to hit a bulls-eye every little thing else misses. It’s the suitable measurement and form, the suitable badge and picture, the suitable efficiency and technical package deal. I can’t consider one other quick household machine I’d have over it. 50 years of M means loads of noise popping out of Munich proper now, a lot of it the results of the CSL’s return, however for me it’s this, slightly than that, that’s the last word M3.

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