The BMW M3 (G81) Competition xDrive Touring (to bestow its full title,) has been one of the most hotly anticipated cars ever since the first pictures lit up the internet. Those twin facets of practicality and performance are usually skewed one way or the other in a car, but occasionally there is the tantalising promise of total harmony. Henry Catchpole seeks to find out if the M3 in wagon/estate/load-lugger form, is that promise realised.
With exactly the same 503bhp, turbocharged, straight-six S58 engine under the bonnet and power going to all four wheels, the M3 Touring still does 0-62mph in a mere 3.6 seconds – just a tenth of a second slower than an M4 Competition xDrive. The top speed remains limited to 155mph (although if you opt for the M Driver’s Pack then this rises to 174mph.)
In this episode of The Driver’s Seat, Catchpole tests the M3 Touring both on the road and round the track, to see if the reality lives up to the hype. There are some big skids on the circuit (and then he pops a bit of shopping in the boot afterward.) He also tests the Touring’s ability to carry a bicycle, a size 58cm Specialized Tarmac SL5 S-Works (if such things matter to you,) and then finds some company in the shape of Otto the giant teddybear.
Can the new M3 Touring really take on “The Establishment,” aka, Audi’s RS4 and RS6 Avants? Will it feel lacking, given that the new Mercedes AMG C63 S estate has closer to 700bhp? In a shocking turn of events, will the appearance of the Ferrari Purosangue [watch the Purosangue video review here] in the last few weeks, have made the estate format seem rather ‘old hat?’
Before you start adding things, like the Frozen Portimao Blue metallic paint, Carbon ceramic brakes, and carbon bucket seats, the M3 Touring is not cheap. Priced at just over £80,000 in the UK the car comes with a steep price tag. However, it could be seen as multiple cars in one – we can certainly see it being helpful in the fantasy five-car garage game.
Anyway, we hope you enjoy the episode. And if you do, please consider sharing it with someone else that you think might appreciate it. Thank you.
Presented by Mobil 1.