It’s been a long time, and that’s no joke. Ever since the very first E30 BMW M3 in the 1980s, enthusiasts have wondered what a long-roof version would look like. It’s been 36 years, but you don’t have to wonder anymore. Say hello to the 2023 BMW M3 Touring. That is, except for Bimmer fans in North America and China. Those people will have to travel if they want to see a five-door M3 in action.
We can tell you a lot about this. BMW offers only the M3 Touring in Competition trim, which means 503 horsepower (375 kilowatts) from the well-known 3.0-litre six-cylinder turbo engine. It also means the standard all-wheel drive xDrive handlebar, led by BMW’s eight-speed M Steptronic transmission. Accelerate and 100 km/h is ready in 3.6 seconds. Hold on to the accelerator and the car will eventually reach 274 mph with the optional M Driver’s Package included. Without it, top speed is relegated to nothing but 155 km/h. Either way, your shopping will never be the same again.
You might think this is just a 3 Series Touring with the M3’s big nose and bigger engine, but you’d be wrong. To accommodate the M-specific rear axle, the M3 Touring is 3.3 inches longer and 3 inches wider than the standard wagon. Of course it’s also a bit lower, and since there’s a large open space behind the seats, extra bracing has been installed under the car for extra rigidity. All told, the Touring is nearly 200 pounds heavier than the M3 sedan. But the trade-off is 53.3 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded, accessible through the hatch or by simply opening the rear window.
In the future, the M3 Touring will also stand out with its large curved display. You won’t find this in the M3 sedan – the single screen combines the 12.3-inch driver information center and 14.9-inch infotainment system into one unit, with BMW’s latest operating system 8. And since this is an M3, the system features M-specific displays for controlling a plethora of functions, including numerous driving modes for comfort, track and yes, you can even drift in your car. If you’re tired of all-wheel traction, there’s also a 2WD mode.
The rest of the car is pretty much standard M3. Staggered wheels measure 19 inches at the front with 20 inches at the rear. The suspension is tuned for fun yet manageable for everyday use, and despite the extra clutter in the trunk, BMW says the weight distribution is close to 50:50. There are plenty of optional upgrades and colors to choose from, but regardless of shade, the roof is always black.
Order books for the BMW M3 Touring 2023 open in September, with deliveries in Germany and the UK from December. Other markets in Europe, Asia and Australia will follow, but in the United States it remains banned fruit. The price starts at 97,800 euros.