The time could not be more perfect for BMW to step up work on this wagon

New spy photos are in of the 2008 BMW 3-Series Touring Wagon.  If the car makes it into production on schedule it should be released during the third or fourth quarter of 2008.

As the photographer points out, the spy photos (taken of a test car) show new headlights and tail-lights, with new bumpers on both ends.  New air intakes can also be spotted in the pictures.

The time could not be more perfect for BMW to step up work on this wagon, with the Mercedes-Benz C-Class wagon expected for a 2008 delivery.  That car will have an optional 3.5-liter V6 getting 268 horsepower with seven-speed automatic, or 3.0-liter V6 as a six-speed manual or automatic getting 228 horsepower.

Also competing with a new BMW wagon is the A4 Avant from Audi.  In 2008 Audi's stalwart wagon will get the S-Line trim options as standard, giving the vehicle stronger bumpers, integrated rear spoiler, fierce grille.  The A4 is expected to get a redesign by 2009.

Less often mentioned as a competitor to the 3-Series Touring Wagon is the 2008 Volvo XC70.  Volvo's vehicle gets 235 horsepower and 236 foot-pound of torque from a 3.2-leter inline-six, and goes 0-100 km/h in 8.1 seconds.  Running on a six-speed automatic transmission, the XC70 will also have all-wheel-drive.

SPIED: BMW 3-Series Touring Wagon Minor Facelift