The awesome new BMW M3 Touring is not coming to SA
Ridiculously rapid wagons are something of a dying breed these days so when a new one joins the diminishing fray there's big reason to celebrate. Designed to go up against the Audi RS4 Avant, this new BMW M3 Touring has been a long time coming and it certainly delivers with all the deliciously oxymoronic chops that we so love in machines of this ilk.
Viewed from the front it looks like just another ho-hum M3 Sedan, but swing around to the rear and you will notice BMW have extended the roofline and added a raked tailgate that opens upward to reveal a sizeable 500l of stowage. And that's just with the rear seat backs up, folks: fold them flat and you'll have 1,510 at your disposal. Great for children, dogs, gear ... heck ... pretty much anything. Said tailgate also has a separately opening rear window that aside from being quite a cool party trick adds to the M3 Touring's usability.
Other wicked exterior design highlights here include especially swollen rear wheel arches, a humungous rear air diffuser finished in de rigueur gloss black, four exhaust tailpipes as well as a unique roof spoiler fitted with a Gurney trailing edge. Roof rails are standard as is a roof skin licked in, again, gloss black (note that you do have the option of speccing it in body colour should you wish). From the factory the M3 Touring rides on forged M light-alloy wheels that measure 19-inches upfront and 20-inches at the rear. Track tyres are optional as is the Munich-based firm's M Carbon ceramic brake package should you feel that the standard M Compound braking system isn't strong enough for your liking.
Other than that it's basically standard BMW M3 fare with the Touring packing a Competition-spec 3.0l six-cylinder twin-turbocharged engine pushing out 375kW and 650Nm of torque. This is delivered to all four wheels via an eight-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic. According to BMW, acceleration from 0-100km/h takes a scant 3.6 seconds while the sprint from 0-200km/h requires just 12.9 seconds. Opting for the M Driver’s Package increases the electronically limited top speed from 250km/h to a more generous 280km/h. Suffice to say your groceries will never be transported quicker.
A quick look under the chassis will reveal a standard Adaptive M suspension system with electronically controlled shock absorbers and M Servotronic steering with a variable ratio.
Inside the cabin lurks the newfangled BMW Curved Display: a huge slab of digital real estate that comprises of a 12.3-inch instrument cluster and a 14.9-inch touchscreen infotainment system. Other standard niceties include three-zone automatic climate control, BMW Live Cockpit Plus including BMW Maps navigation system, ambient lighting, BMW's in-house hi-fi speaker system and sports seats upholstered in Merino leather. Ultra-lightweight M Carbon bucket seats for the driver and front passenger are optional and help to shave 9.6kg over the standard chairs. Come on — you know you want to.
Except, no, wait, you can't. Many markets will be getting the BMW M3 Touring, but SA isn't one of them. So if you want a fast wagon you'll have to make do with the Audi. Sorry.
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