The closest thing to an M3 Touring, unless those rumors of a full-fat M wagon are true.
The new 3 Series Touring (G21) was surprisingly nowhere to be found at BMW’s booth during the Geneva Motor Show last month, but the good news is an official reveal is right around the corner. Unfortunately, the wagon’s impending release is not relevant to the United States simply because the long-roof 3er is not coming to North America. The silver lining is you can still get the previous-generation of the Sports Wagon if you hurry.
The video shot at the Nürburgring (of course!) doesn’t show one of those boring diesels, but actually the cream of the crop. We’re talking about the M Performance version bound to be called the “M340i” like the sedan. Expect the oily bits to mirror those of the four-door model, so we’re looking at the most powerful 3 Series Touring model ever. Its turbocharged inline-six 3.0-liter engine will be good for 382 horsepower and 369 pound-feet (500 Newton-meters) of torque.
You’ll be stuck with an eight-speed automatic transmission, but BMW will give you the choice between a rear-wheel-drive version and an xDrive-equipped model. However, we have a feeling that will greatly depend on the market and in many countries the M340i Touring is expected to come in an AWD-only flavor.
Going up against the likes of the Audi S4 Avant and the Mercedes-AMG C43 Estate, the first-ever BMW M340i Touring will likely be revealed at the same time as the lesser members of the 3 Series Touring family. The ace up the wagon’s sleeve will be a significantly higher cargo volume compared to the sedan, which can swallow 480 liters (17 cubic feet) with the rear seats in place.
We’ve been hearing rumors of a full-fat M version, but we’ll believe it when we’ll see it a dealer in Europe. It would be the first of its kind considering the E46-based M3 Touring was only a concept car, much like other one-off M gems such as the E36 M3 Compact as well as the seriously cool E30 and E92 M3 pickups.
Video: Automotive Mike / YouTube