The only time BMW has ever gotten close to making an M3 Touring was in 2000 with the E46 M3 Touring, a one-off car built purely for internal purposes. Now, after years of allowing the Audi RS4 Avant and Mercedes-AMG C63 Estate to grab all the sales, the Bavarians are finally getting ready to claim a piece of the action. Complementing the M3 Saloon, M4 Coupe, and M4 Convertible, a long-roof M3 is being developed.

A new spy video shot by Automotive Mike on the streets near the Nurburgring shows the first-ever M3 Touring being chased from behind. Its inline-six engine provides a guttural soundtrack fit for a full-fat M car, one that will offer buyers the extra practicality without having to buy an M SUV. There’s a pretty good chance this prototype had xDrive and an automatic transmission seeing as how a new report claims BMW will sell the car only with two pedals and AWD.

Gallery: BMW M3 Touring spy shots

The existence of an M3 estate contradicts a statement made last year by Markus Flasch, BMW M boss, who said a high-performance estate wouldn’t have global appeal. He said that while an M3 Touring would likely be appreciated by customers in Germany, Austria, or Switzerland, the company needs to think globally. He went on to mention: “We don’t go into products like this. This is what the SUVs are for.”

We’re happy BMW’s go-faster division has had a change of heart, although it’s a bittersweet situation considering it has already been ruled out in the United States. The M3 Touring will be unveiled sometime next year when the company will further extend the M portfolio with the addition of an i4 M, a fully electric performance variant of the next-generation 4 Series Gran Coupe.

Should the new M3 Touring only be offered with an all-paw system and two pedals, it likely means the speedy wagon will only be offered in the Competition specification. That means its twin-turbo 3.0-litre engine will be dialled to 503 bhp (375 kilowatts) and 479 pound-feet (650 Newton-metres) of torque.

Considering the M3 Saloon Competition does 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) in 3.8 seconds, its estate counterpart will likely take around four seconds for the same task given its slightly higher curb weight. The aforementioned i4 M might end up as the quickest of the lot taking into account it’s expected to be the most powerful among all M3 and M4 models. Factor in the instant torque delivered by the electric motors, it should be quite a hoot.