It’s finally been confirmed. After years of enthusiasts asking, and some going as far as building their own, BMW is going to produce the upcoming sixth-generation M3 in wagon form. The news came this week directly from the source, and rather unexpectedly so. Despite what seems like strong fanfare in the driving enthusiast community, with robust dedication and near-universal appreciation for wagons, BMW has only ever manufactured two M cars in touring form, not counting the one-off E46 M3 touring that exists as a mere figment of the imagination for many. These include the E61 M5 and the E34 M5, neither of which were destined for the U.S. market.
This is, of course, what brings us to the next big thing on everyone’s mind. Considering the fact that BMW has effectively walked away from the (incredibly small) wagon segment in the U.S., will the upcoming M3 touring be sold here? At this point, it’s anyone’s guess, but you’ll have to forgive us for not getting too excited right off the bat. Nevertheless, we sure hope to see the long roof M3 go on sale here, as BMW needs something to compete with the Audi RS6 Avant and the Mercedes-AMG E63 S Wagon.
If you’re reading this, you probably don’t need to reminded that BMW made its name building fun yet practical cars that serve their purpose just as well picking up a pizza as they do during a weekend track day. For generations, the primary form of this vehicle has taken the shape of the so-called sport sedan, a segment that BMW, along with a few others, popularized over a half-century ago. But what if the ultimate one car to do it all isn’t a sedan at all? What if it’s actually a wagon, more specifically a sport wagon?
We may very well soon find out when the first M3 wagon becomes a reality in the coming years. BMW has supplied just one dark photo, which features the rear of the car shrouded in shadows, but we do have some ideas of what to expect. The engine is almost certainly going to be the S58 which first hit the market in the X3 and X4 M. BMW doesn’t mention anything of the sort, but expect some form of electrification, likely a mild hybrid setup like what was given to the G30 5 Series as part of its lifecycle update. Exterior and interior design themes will be consistent with the M brand, in the way of flared bodywork, large air intakes, a quad exhaust, and more—it is an M car, after all. Finally—and this comes straight from BMW—don’t go putting your current vehicle(s) on the market just yet, because the M3 touring is still in its early stages of development. You can expect the typical series of press releases from BMW along the way, including when the long roof M3 has undergone track testing at the famous Nürburgring Nordschleife.
Sometime between now and when the M3 wagon hits the streets, we’ll also find out if it’s going to be available for sale in the U.S. market. Regardless of BMW’s track record with wagons, and the focus shifting to SAVs and SACs (which boast the advantage of being built locally in Spartanburg, South Carolina at BMW’s largest production facility), we hope the company finds a way to make the case for selling the M3 wagon here, as a growing number of BMW enthusiasts have personally made the case for building their own.—Alex Tock
[Photos courtesy BMW AG.]