BMW wagons are coming to the U.S.—maybe. If I say it enough times, it will come true, right? It’s not a secret that wagons have not sold well in the U.S. as many buyers have flocked to crossovers and SUVs over the last two decades. Wagon lovers in the U.S. looked on with envy when the new M3 Touring debuted, knowing it would not be gracing our shores with its presence. But fear not touring enthusiasts, there are glimmers of hope on the U.S.’s wagon horizon in the forms of the rumored M5 touring and i5 touring—two sizable long roofs that can compete with the likes of the Audi RS6 and Mercedes E63 AMG.In a recent interview with Carbuzz, BMW M CEO Frank van Meel didn’t deny the possibility of a new BMW touring making its way to the U.S. market. Apparently global demand for wagons is up, which is a good thing. With a number of bring-wagons-to-America petitions making their rounds on the internet, including one with over 50,000 signatures, BMW has taken notice. “We do see the demand [for wagons] increasing, especially in regard to M, because the U.S. is our single biggest market, our most important market,” van Meel told Carbuzz. “We listened to our dealers and our customers, and they’re coming more and more, asking for a touring. So, we are taking that into consideration,” he continued.
Will there be a new generation M5 touring to join with the previous E61 and E34 M5 tourings? An M variant of the 5 Series wagon hasn’t been offered in two generations. When asked about a potential new M5, van Meel told Carbuzz, “We’ll see. Keep your eyes open, and if you see something like that on the Nurburgring, we’re going to do it.” In my mind, I can already see a next-generation 5 Series wagon wearing prototype camouflage and vertically stacked exhaust tips extruding from the rear bumper. My only question now is “when?”
In regard to what will power the next M-ified 5 Series, there’s speculation it will be BMW’s latest hybrid S68 engine. This can be found in the Alpina XB7 and recently debuted XM and produces over 600 horsepower, or 735 with the XM’s upcoming Label Red. In a presumably lighter 5 Series chassis, that drivetrain would make for a very quick 5.Another 5 Series rumored to debut in 2024 is the i5 touring, the EV version of the upcoming G61 chassis. TopElectricSUV just released new renderings of what the sedan and wagon version could look like, and they seem like completely plausible production vehicles. If BMW goes through the trouble of federalizing the G61 chassis for the M version, why not bring over the electric version as well? After all, with last week’s $1.7 billion EV investment announcement that will bring larger-scale EV production to Plant Spartanburg and Envision AESC’s battery production in nearby Woodruff, South Carolina, why not take full advantage of the new capabilities? What can you do to ensure a future of healthy wagon options in the U.S.? Well, it’s one thing to say you want a wagon and it’s another to pony up and buy one. I did my part in early 2015 with the purchase of my 2015 M Sport 328i wagon and have thoroughly enjoyed the last almost-eight years of stylish sporty hauling. So, if the time comes, make sure and do your part.—Mike Bevels
[Photos courtesy of BMW, TopElectricSUV, and Mike Bevels.]