BMW’s teaser picture of an M3 Touring prototype. Picture: SUPPLIED
BMW’s teaser picture of an M3 Touring prototype. Picture: SUPPLIED

A few years ago BMW’s iconic M3 high-performance sedan branched out into M4 coupe and convertible versions, and now the range is about to get a fourth body style with the first-time addition of a station wagon.

The Touring will be the first long-rumped version of the M3, and only the second M-badged station wagon after the M5 Touring.

With the world premiere of the new-generation M3 and M4 just weeks away, BMW has announced that it’s started testing prototypes of the M3 Touring for a market launch in about two years’ time, and has released a teaser image of the roomy five-door car.

Along with the M4 Convertible which is set for a 2021 launch, the M3 Touring is taking shape in Garching near Munich, home of BMW’s M division.

Like the rival Audi RS4 Avant, the M3 Touring will be a high-performance car with the practical utility of an extra-large boot, offering the luggage space of an SUV without the top-heavy handling.

In 2000 BMW built a station wagon prototype of the third-generation M3 but the car never made it into production.

“As the fourth model variant, the BMW M3 Touring fulfils the hopes of all those who wish to take the M-specific interplay of racing-orientated performance and everyday suitability to the extreme,” says BMW.

“Never before has a premium mid-range class estate car offered so much driving fun and precision. Nor was there ever more functional utility available in a thoroughbred sports car.”

Looks-wise the M3 Touring will fulfil all the sporting requirements of M-badged Beemers with a wide stance, a quartet of tailpipes at the rear and conspicuously large front air intakes.

The prototype has been given the go-ahead for test drives on public roads and on the Nürburgring Nordschleife.

The all-new BMW M3 sedan and M4 coupe will make their world debut in mid-September, promising heightened agility and outstanding dynamics.

Providing the power is a twin-turbocharged six-cylinder inline 3.0l engine pushing out 353kW and 650Nm in standard form and 375kW/650Nm in Competition guise. They will be paired with the choice of either a six-speed manual gearbox or eight-speed M Steptronic automatic, and available in rear-wheel drive or xDrive all-wheel drive variants.

The new M3 and M4 are headed to our shores later this year or early in 2021. It’s too early to say whether the M3 Touring will make it here, but we wouldn’t necessarily put money on it given the general unpopularity of station wagons with local buyers.

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