One of the most anticipated cars of 2022 is BMW’s M3 Touring. The Touring model is the long roof wagon version of the M3 sedan and the first wagon to get BMW’s complete M treatment. Station wagon aficionados and BMW fans have waited a lifetime for this car, and thankfully, to ring in the New Year, BMW has posted a video to remind them it is coming.
Drifting through the snow in a 500 horsepower sleigh
The video teaser, posted on BMW M’s Instagram page, shows a camouflaged M3 Touring drifting across the snowy slopes of a mountain somewhere in Europe. Directed by a helicopter, the driver of the M3 drifts through a series of turns to write 2022 in the snow.
The camouflage seems unnecessary, as the production M3 sedan and the 3-Series Touring have been in showrooms for months. While it may not be hard to imagine what the production version of the car looks like, BMW is most likely keeping the camo in place until the official reveal.
The M3 Touring won’t be a direct rival to the Mercedes-Benz E63 S Estate or the Audi RS6 Avant. The Mercedes and Audi are both bigger and more powerful than the M3. Instead, BMW’s new wagon will go up against the Mercedes C63 S Estate and the Audi RS4 Avant, which are unfortunately not available to buyers in the United States.
What to expect from the M3 Touring
BMW hasn’t officially released any details about the new long roof car, but a few things can be assumed. First is the love it or leave it front grill styling. Although it is polarizing, it is hard to knock a manufacturer for trying new and distinctive designs.
Behind the enormous grille will sit BMW’s 3.0-liter twin-turbo straight-six engine. Thanks to the M Division, the engine produces 473-horsepower in standard trim and 503-horsepower with the Competition package. Due to the larger size and heavier weight of the wagon body style, BMW will likely choose to fit the Competition package engine. That should keep performance on par with the sedan and coupe.
How that engine sends its power to the wheels is the real question. Every gearhead and enthusiast in the world will be screaming for a manual transmission and rear-wheel drive. BMW is much more likely to fit the Touring with its xDrive all-wheel drive system and offer the eight-speed automatic as the only option. That is not all bad news, as the ZF eight-speed auto is capable of lightning shifts and a full manual mode that mimics some of the best dual-clutch semi-auto transmissions on the market.
BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive system is more performance-oriented than Audi’s Quattro or Mercedes’ 4Matic systems. xDrive can send up to 100% of its power to the rear wheels. Based on how the system works in the M5, it is not out of line to expect a similar “Drift Mode” allowing for rear-wheel drive shenanigans.
Performance on the road
The prototype version of the M3 Touring has been tested on the Nurburgring circuit. That suggests that BMW is keen to ensure that the larger body of the wagon performs just as well as the coupe and sedan.
Based on existing data from the current M3, expect 0-60 mph times near 3.5 seconds. Top speed is likely limited to 155 mph and is entirely irrelevant when discussing M3s. The M3 is a “driver’s car,” which means it is more about handling, corner speed, and how it makes you feel than top speed and acceleration times.
The wagon body style will carry more weight, and thanks to the extended roof, a higher center of gravity. That will affect overall handling, giving the sedan and coupe an edge when the road gets twisty.
BMW’s M3 Touring will be the hot family hauler of 2022. For those that want to stand out in a sea of SUVs and Crossovers, there is now a new option, and it comes with two turbos and a healthy dose of hooliganism.