The closest thing to an M3 Touring, unless those rumours of a full-fat M estate are true.
The new 3 Series Touring (G21) was surprisingly nowhere to be found at BMW’s booth during the Geneva Motor Show last month, but the good news is an official reveal is right around the corner.
The video shot at the Nürburgring (of course!) doesn’t show one of those boring diesels, but actually the cream of the crop. We’re talking about the M Performance version bound to be called the “M340i” like the saloon. Expect the oily bits to mirror those of the four-door model, so we’re looking at the most powerful 3 Series Touring model ever. Its turbocharged inline-six 3.0-litre engine will be good for 382 bhp and 369 pound-feet of torque.
Gallery: 2020 BMW M340i Touring screenshots from spy video
You’ll be stuck with an eight-speed automatic transmission, but BMW will give you the choice between a rear-wheel-drive version and an xDrive-equipped model. However, we have a feeling that will greatly depend on the market and in many countries the M340i Touring is expected to come in an AWD-only flavour.
Going up against the likes of the Audi S4 Avant and the Mercedes-AMG C43 Estate, the first-ever BMW M340i Touring will likely be revealed at the same time as the lesser members of the 3 Series Touring family. The ace up the estate’s sleeve will be a significantly higher cargo volume compared to the saloon, which can swallow 480 litres with the rear seats in place.
We’ve been hearing rumours of a full-fat M version, but we’ll believe it when we’ll see it at a dealer in Europe. It would be the first of its kind considering the E46-based M3 Touring was only a concept car, much like other one-off M gems such as the E36 M3 Compact as well as the seriously cool E30 and E92 M3 pickups.