After years of one-off promotions, BMW has finally built what its fans have longed for: an M3 car. It is expected in Australia early next year.
The 2023 BMW M3 Touring has been unveiled ahead of an Australian launch in the first quarter of 2023 (January to March).
Two decades after a one-off ‘E46’ M3 Touring was built by BMWthe first series production M3 estate has been unveiled, fusing the mechanics of the latest ‘G80’ M3 sedan with the long roof of the standard 3 Series Touring.
While the sedan is available in three powertrain configurations – with rear-wheel drive and a manual transmission – the M3 Touring is available exclusively in the high-performance Competition trim, with an eight-speed automatic transmission and four-wheel drive.
The Competition decal lends the first M3 car – or to give it its full name, M3 Competition Touring with M xDrive – with 375kW and 650Nm of a 3.0-litre twin-turbo ‘S58’ six-cylinder inline engine†
BMW claims a 0-100 km/h sprint of 3.6 seconds (one tenth slower than the sedan), a 0-200 km/h time of 12.9 seconds and a standard top speed of 250 km/h, or 280 km/h with the M driver package.
The M xDrive all-wheel drive system is shared with its sedan sibling, with a choice of a standard 4WD mode, 4WD Sport (which shifts more power to the rear) and a 2WD setting that disengages the front axle and disengages stability control.
The M3 Touring benefits from a unique tune for its adaptive suspension – designed to account for the extra weight on the rear axle – in addition to stiffer springs, and a spread of riding modes from Comfort to Sport Plus.
Carry-over performance items from the M3 Competition xDrive sedan include variable sport steering, limited slip rear differential, aluminum underbody reinforcements and a multi-stage M Traction Control system.
The wheel arches are filled with 19-inch front and 20-inch alloy wheels in an M3 Touring-specific forged design, wrapped in 275/35 front and 285/30 rear Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires. “Tracks” are available as an option.
Standard are M compound brakes with six pistons at the front and M Compound brakes with one piston at the rear – probably with 380mm front and 370mm rear discs, according to the M3 sedan – which can be optionally upgraded to carbon-ceramic discs ( probably 400mm front and 380mm rear) ).
The styling of the M3 Touring is as the name of the model suggests: a high-performance M version of the 3 Series Touring, featuring the unique front and rear of the M3 sedan, side skirts, four exhaust tips and hood.
Compared to the standard 3 Series Touring, it is 85mm longer thanks to the new bumpers, 4mm lower and 76mm wider thanks to the blistered rear wheel arches designed to accommodate the wider rear axle of the M3 sedan.
The roof is painted in black, regardless of the body color chosen – although a body color roof is optional – as are the black roof rails and the M3 Touring-specific ‘Gurney flap’ on top of the rear spoiler.
Inside, the M3 Touring benefits from the 2023 M3’s new iDrive 8 dashboard, featuring a 14.9-inch central touchscreen and a 12.3-inch digital instrument display in a single curved panel.
Other interior highlights include carbon fiber inlays throughout the interior, an M-specific gearshift lever and drive mode buttons, and M1 and M2 badging on the M3-specific steering wheel.
Front seat occupants sit in standard electrically adjustable M sports seats, upholstered in Merino leather with heating and memory – with M Carbon bucket seats available as an option, which claim to save 9.6kg with carbon fibre-reinforced plastic in the backrests.
Storage space? There is 500 liters behind the rear seats, which can be expanded to 1510 liters with the 40:20:40 bench folded down.
A hands-free power tailgate, under-floor storage, cargo net, rear window that can be opened separately and automatically ascending non-slip rails to support the load are all standard.
Other standard features include three-zone climate control, ambient lighting, auto-dimming mirrors and the Driving Assistant Professional with safety features including adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking, parking sensors, lane centering aid, automatic parking and traffic light detection.
The 2023 BMW M3 Touring will arrive in Australia early next year, with pricing to be confirmed closer to launch.
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