After learning from spy shots that the BMW M3 will have the same big-grilled face as the M4 and 4-series, we really hoped that the hotly anticipated M3 Touring might be spared the same treatment. BMW’s promise to fit “conspicuously large front air intakes” didn’t fill us with hope though, and sure enough, the company has released a short teaser video of a prototype leaving M Division Munich’s HQ with that front end clearly on display.
It perhaps works a little better on the bigger estate model - we’ll have to make a proper judgement once some of the camouflage comes off. Either way, it’ll prove controversial, especially given how long we’ve waited for an M3 wagon.
Behind that big face, there’ll be a turbocharged ‘S58’ straight-six. The M3 saloon and the M4 are each available with this engine in two states of tune - 471bhp in the entry-level version with a manual gearbox, and a 503bhp for the ‘Competition’ using an eight-speed automatic. The latter will optional all-wheel-drive system further down the line.
A manual, rear-wheel drive M3 wagon sounds especially dreamy but hold your horses - the car isn’t guaranteed to mirror the model structure used for the saloon. To go with the added practicality of the estate body, BMW may (if you’ll forgive a little dash of speculation) choose to make it all-wheel drive only
Along with the engine - which is currently used in the X3 M and X4 M - the next M3 is thought to be packing a tweaked version of the M5’s power steering setup along with the bigger M machine’s adaptive dampers. It’s unclear at this stage if the optional all-wheel drive system will - as per the M5 - have a switchable rear-drive mode.
While the M3 saloon and the M4 are set to be revealed next month, we won’t be seeing the M3 Touring until 2021. Will it be worth the wait, or do those giant kidney grilles taint it for you?