The BMW M3 Touring combines the performance of the brand's sport sedan with an extended roof that lets owners carry more cargo. Now, Germany's Sport Auto gets the chance to see how fast the wagon can get around the 12.8-mile (20.6-kilometer) version of the Nürburgring Nordschleife. Driver Christian Gebhardt clocked a time of 7 minutes and 34.39 seconds.
To put that figure in perspective, when BMW did its official lap of the M3 Touring around the 'Ring, driver Jörg Weidinger hustled around the 12.8-mile layout in 7 minutes and 30.3 seconds. The 12.94-mile (20.832-kilometer) version took 7 minutes and 35.060 seconds. This was a new record for a wagon around the famous track. The time was particularly impressive because the asphalt appeared damp in spots, meaning Weidinger might have been able to go faster in ideal conditions.
Gallery: 2023 BMW M3 Touring
For further context, Sport Auto tested a Lexus LFA with the Nürburgring Package in 2012 and clocked a time of 7 minutes and 34 seconds. The publication also rounded the course in 7:34 in a Koenigsegg CCR in 2010. Granted these are older supercars but the times illustrate the evolution of automotive performance.
The Mercedes-AMG One holds the overall production car lap record of 6 minutes and 35.183 seconds.
Spy shots show BMW worked on refreshed versions of the M3 sedan and Touring. A new front fascia with more angular inlets appears to be the most significant exterior change.
The M3 Touring uses a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six, making 503 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. The only available drivetrain combination is an eight-speed automatic sending power to BMW's xDrive all-wheel-drive system. However, drivers can select a rear-drive mode from the infotainment system. The official specs indicate the wagon can reach 62 miles per hour in 3.6 seconds and hit a limited top speed of 155 mph or 174 mph with the optional M Driver's Package.
The wagon gets additional underbody bracing, and the extended roof also adds some weight. The result is that the Touring is about 200 pounds heavier than an M3 sedan.
The interior is also slightly different than the four-door by adopting a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 14.9-inch infotainment screen that share a bezel.
Recent rumors point to BMW preparing the M3 CS Touring with even more power than the current wagon. Like the CS sedan, it would reportedly make 543 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque. The front fascia, rear diffuser, and rear spoiler would be carbon fiber. The meaner model allegedly arrives in 2025.