BMW finally took the official wraps off of the new (and first) M3 Touring on Tuesday, and it’s exactly what we expected. As these hot wagons go, the new M3 Touring has a long roof, hatch-style rear opening, same 503-horsepower straight-six that powers the regular M3 and M4 Competition, same grille, and, of course, no chance in America.
Cool wagons not coming to the US because nobody buys them isn’t a new phenomenon. And while the rationale behind the M3 Touring’s American absence ultimately still boils down to “It wasn’t worth it,” there’s a little more to the story than that.
“The decision to move forward with the M3 Touring (G81) was made late in the development of the [non-M G21] 3 Series Touring,” a BMW USA spokesperson told The Drive. “By the time the decision was made to move ahead with the [M3 Touring]it had already long been decided that the [regular 3 Series wagon] would not come to the US, and therefore there had been no development work towards US certification—a lengthy and costly process.”
In other words, BMW USA had already turned down homologating the 3 Series wagon wholesale before the M version was even greenlit. And by the time the company knew an M3 Touring was coming, it was—financially speaking—too late.
“There is often a struggle between our desire to give dedicated enthusiasts of BMW what they want and the technical and financial realities of making it happen. This is one of those times where the investment for development, testing, and homologation for a low-volume vehicle was simply unjustifiable.”
When I asked whether BMW USA would have homologated and federalized the wagon 3er here if only the M3 version was part of the plan from the getgo, the rep declined to speculate.
In any case, BMW says the slightly heavier M3 Touring gets from 0 to 62 mph in 3.6 seconds, one-tenth slower than the sedan. It also receives the company’s new-gen interior featuring a curved, 14.9-inch screen.
Since most of the press photos you’ll likely have seen over the past day are of a relatively drab gray car, here’s a way cooler green one out in the wild for your viewing pleasure. For many, if not most of our Stateside readers, this is indeed the closest you’ll ever get to the BMW M3 Touring.
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