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BMW M3 Touring revealed with Australian release locked-in for early 2023

 

Watch out, Audi RS4: BMW has finally answered enthusiast prayers with the addition of a stunning Touring wagon to the M3 lineup


Following myriad teaser images, Nurburgring lap times and plenty of enthusiast hype, the first-ever series-production BMW M3 Touring was this morning revealed in G81-generation form, set for an Australian release between January and March 2023. 

The M3 Touring will arrive in LCI form alongside the 330i Touring in Australia – and the broader M3 sedan and M4 two-door lineup. The wagon is the first M3/M4 variant to be revealed with BMW’s ‘life cycle impulse’ changes for the G80 chassis, which include styling tweaks and improved tech in the cabin.

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The M3 Touring has been revealed, and it’s coming to Australia

Australian pricing for the RS4 and C63-wagon rival is yet to be announced, but the M3 Touring will be sold only in top-spec Competition xDrive (AWD) trim. Equipping an M3 sedan with AWD currently costs $166,500 before on-road costs. We expect a modest premium for the wagon.

BMW has been reluctant over the years to produce an M3 in station wagon form, though it edged closer to the idea with an M skunkworks-built E46 M3 Touring that is now preserved as a museum piece at BMW’s collection in Munich.

The high-powered G81 M3 Touring will be on show at this weekend’s Goodwood Festival of Speed.

How fast is the M3 Touring?

Available exclusively with an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission, the M3 Touring’s all-wheel-drive and 375kW/650Nm twin-turbo petrol straight-six sees it reach 100km/h in 3.6 seconds (just a tenth slower than the AWD sedan) and onto 200km/h in 12.9 seconds

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With 375kW of power the M3 is one angry wagon

BMW has not published an official Nurburgring Nordschleife lap time claim, but expert car-spotters have put it at around seven minutes and 30 seconds. 

The Touring shares the sedan’s blistered front guards to squeeze in the 19-inch alloys, but has its own box-flared rear arches hiding 20-inch items shod in either Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S tyres, or optionally a more aggressive track compound.

The Touring’s suspension retains the M3 sedan’s adaptive dampers re-tuned to suit the weight distribution, and greater focus on long-distance comfort of the wagon. 

Is the M3 Touring family-friendly?

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The Touring’s larger boot and re-uned suspension should make it a better all-round proposition

Naturally the wagon body opens up greater cargo space, expanding from 480 litres in the sedan to 500 in the touring. With the rear bench folded, this area expands to 1510 litres.

The extra height in the rear will also make it easier to carry bulky objects, and make for a more pleasant space for the family pet or a perambulator.

To stop luggage sliding around and causing a racket, BMW offers ‘anti-slip rails’ in the boot floor that are said to automatically rise up during dynamic driving to prevent excess luggage movement. 

For the extra practicality out back, the M3 Competition doesn’t suffer up the front. The 9.6kg-lighter carbon-fibre bucket seats found optionally in the sedan are available in the touring, while the leather-appointed wheel retains the same M1 and M2 paddles for custom drive modes. 

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The M3 Touring scores BMW’s new 14.9-inch touchscreen inside

The M3 Touring is also the first of the M3/M4 products to adopt the 3 Series latest life-cycle update cabin. This means a generous 14.9-inch curved touchscreen floating above the dash that includes M Drift Analyse, lap timer and wireless Apple carplay functionality.

There’s also the updated 12.3-inch digital driver’s display that offers greater customisation than before.

Pricing and final Australian specification of the M3 Touring will be locked-in closer to its Q1 2023 release date.