For the first time in M3 history, a Touring model will join the lineup.
UPDATE (08.12, 17:00 EST): BMW has confirmed the long-roof M3 will not be arriving in the US, according to Motor Authority. The original article remains below.
BMW is getting ready to debut the sixth-generation M3, and quietly dropped our first look at the un-camouflaged model Wednesday morning. There’s an important difference though: this one’s going Touring.
It’s a bit ironic that the M3, a car BMW built to satisfy homologation rules in touring car racing, has never actually been available in capital-T Touring (read: wagon) form. This new teaser appears to confirm that will change with the next generation model.
From what little we can see from the Instagram tease, the next M3 will follow the style guide that has guided the model since the E46-era cars. A quartet of fat tailpipes poke out from the middle of the rear bumper, with a large, black diffuser surrounding them. The rear fenders are wider than the standard wagon too. If there’s a larger roof-mounted spoiler, it’s either black or carbon fiber, because no amount of photo editing reveals it for us.
Sure, it’s just the one shadowy teaser right now, but we can’t ignore the Z3-based M Coupe vibes on display. It’s like a clown shoe, but with an extra set of doors and enough space to haul a pack of full-grown Newfoundland dogs to the Nürburgring.
BMW has slowly dropped nuggets of info on the upcoming M3—and the M4, which will use the controversially styled new 4 Series as its base. A turbo inline-six will remain under the hood, the S58 3.0-liter found in the X3 and X4 M models. Expect the same 473 horsepower and 442 lb-ft outputs here, or 503 ponies in Competition trim. Like so many other performance models, the M3 and M4 will also offer all-wheel drive and an automatic transmission—the former another first for the model. However, purists will still be able to select rear-wheel drive, and doing so will also allow for a good ol’ manual transmission.
Sadly, we aren’t holding out much hope for the M3 Touring to arrive in North America. The current 3 Series only comes in sedan form on these shores, after all. On the other hand, Audi recently brought the deeply desirable RS6 Avant over here, though only as a package deal with the A6 Allroad. Perhaps BMW will follow in Ingolstadt’s footsteps, so long as a business case can be made to do it.
We expect BMW to spill the rest of the beans on the M3, in Touring and other shapes, before the end of 2020. What do you think, should North America get the long-roof? Sound off in the comments.
Become an AutoGuide insider. Get the latest from the automotive world first by subscribing to our newsletter here.