Strollers have always been popular in Europe, but not so much elsewhere. Especially in the face of SUVs, the popularity of wagons has fallen outside the European continent. Head of BMW M Prototyping, Hans Rahn, created the one-off M3 Touring concept you see here, which has been painted Frozen Silver (basically the marketing term for matte silver).
The prototype has clearly won the hearts of the BMW board of directors, with production and sales starting just a few months from now. In fact, the BMW M3 Touring will finally make its debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed on June 23, which means we don’t have to wait any longer to see the first BMW M wagon in over a decade.
Now, regarding the decline in popularity of wagons, the CEO of BMW M, Frank van Mill, who spoke with him carbert In Italy, he says, demand for the M3 Touring is surprisingly high. BMW M is, in fact, confident in the success of the M3 Touring, which is one of the reasons the model was lit up in production green.
“Of course, it depends on how it develops, but we usually don’t do a ‘one-off’, and we think this car is going to be a huge hit, because we’re already seeing great demand. If that’s the case, then it makes sense to follow its development.”
Of course, impressing the chiefs from Munich was not easy for them. After all, wagons are only very popular in Europe, but in the end, the M3 Touring finally sees the light of day thanks to the hustle and bustle of such a car globally.
“The biggest challenge is that the Touring Concept is first and foremost a European concept – it is not a world car like the M3 [sedan] Same or the M4, it’s a somewhat European concept, so you’re very focused on one market, which limits your production numbers. However, the pull from all of our major markets was so strong, everyone needed the M3 Touring, so we said, ‘Okay, we’ll do it’.
Now that the BMW M3 Touring is lit up in production green, the challenge now is how to make a heavier vehicle like the M3 sedan perform? This was a very difficult task, says Dirk Hacker, who is responsible for development at BMW M.
“When we started this project, we told the chassis engineers that we wanted the M3 Touring to look like an M3 behind the wheel, even if it was fully loaded with passengers and luggage.”
Basically, BMW M engineers left no stone unturned when developing the M3 Touring. The team started by removing the front end of a standard 3 Series Touring and then replacing it with all the elements on the M3 sedan, namely the S58 twin-turbo Straight-six engine, an M xDrive AWD system, the same tires used by the M3, optional M ceramic brakes, and even the rear tires. For a sedan whose width is 285 mm.
On top of all that, the M3 Touring got all-new anti-lock springs, dampers, bars, and even a fully custom roof spoiler, giving the M3 Touring plenty of downforce.
All of these upgrades have made the M3 Touring as good as the sedan in terms of handling, says Klaus Uber, the man responsible for the driving dynamics of all M cars.
“We left no stone unturned in this car. This is adaptive damping, steering, DSC, ABC, etc., in order to achieve the goal we set for the M3 Touring from the start of the project – to make it drive the same M3 [sedan]. “
With less than a month away from the world premiere of the BMW M3 Touring, we’re sure to find out more details about BMW M’s first high-performance wagon since the E61 M5 Touring. This isn’t the first time an M3 Touring development has been considered, because in 2000 the one-off (E46) M3 Touring was actually designed, but never produced.
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