BMW has previewed the highly anticipated M3 Touring, due to arrive later this year as the first M3 estate in the performance car's history.
In a video uploaded to YouTube detailing the history of BMW fast estates, linked below, the rear of the car is shown undisguised for the first time.
The BMW M3 Touring shares many styling features with the M3 saloon, but the 3 Series Touring-style body is a notable difference. The sharp rear bumper is carried over from the M3 saloon, along with the four exhaust pipes that bookend a large diffuser. A 3D-printed lip spoiler can be seen above the rear windscreen, with roof rails extending towards the front.
The front of the car can also be seen in the video, albeit in camouflaged form. Like the rear, the bumpers are carried over from the regular M3, featuring a double kidney grille, bonnet bulges and large intakes towards the edges.
A release date for the M3 Touring has yet to be confirmed, but the car seems likely to be launched later this year.
The car is one of a number of imminent M models in the works as the performance sub-brand celebrates its 50th anniversary, with a new M2 Competition coupé, a lightweight M4 CSL coupé and the 740bhp XM SUV also on the way.
The M3 Touring bears a strong resemblance to the 3 Series Touring, although it can be differentiated by flared arches, large air intakes and a sports exhaust system. It will give BMW a direct rival to the long-established Audi RS4 Avant for the first time.
BMW has yet to reveal technical details of the M3 estate, but has confirmed it will use its turbocharged six-cylinder petrol M engine. The M3 Touring is expected to share its mechanicals and powertrain with the M3 saloon and M4, in which the S58 twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre in-line engine delivers 473bhp and 443lb ft in standard form.
The UK currently only receives the 503bhp and 479lb ft Competition variants of each car, so it’s likely that the same will be true for the M3 Touring.
According to BMW, the estate will offer the full space and capacity of the regular 3 Series Touring. The brand previously said that the car will fulfil “the hopes of all those who wish to take the M-specific interplay of racing-orientated performance and everyday suitability to the extreme”.
Although BMW has never previously offered an M3 Touring in the 34-year history of the M3, it did produce a feasibility study prototype based on the third-generation model in 2000.
The firm has also twice offered a Touring version of the larger BMW M5, on the models made from 1992-1995 and from 2006-2010.