In the U.S. the proliferation of SUVs is slowly killing the estate. For example, BMW has decided not to send the next instalment of the 3 Series Sports Wagon  there, and the next VW Golf will likely eschew the SportWagen guise. However, at least we can take comfort from knowing these long-roof cars are still relevant in other parts of the world, particularly here in the UK, which is why BMW is on the verge of introducing the all-new 3 Series Touring estate codenamed G21.

The 3er in its practical Touring flavour was seen at the end of last month testing at the Nürburgring in the hot M340i whereas this car is a lower-spec prototype without the 382-bhp inline-six turbo engine. BMW was quite generous when it slapped camouflage onto the test vehicle, but the car’s design is not much of a secret since it will stay true to the saloon’s look. The elongated rear will free up more cargo compared to the 480 litres available in the G20 in exchange for a slightly increased curb weight.

Gallery: 2020 BMW 3 Series Touring Spy Photos

If we’re allowed to dream for a moment, it would be great to see a BMW 3 Series Touring version to take on the Audi A4 Allroad. Even if BMW won’t be going down the rugged estate route, the Ingolstadt model might still have to face a worthy German opponent in the form of the rumoured Mercedes C-Class All-Terrain.

Speaking of rumours, it is believed we are only a few weeks away from the official unveiling of the new Bimmer estate, which for whatever reason, was a no-show in Geneva back in March. It will be a happy day when the M3 Touring will become a reality, but for the time being, we’re treating the fully fledged M estate as pure speculation.