There’s no shortage of teasers for the M3 Touring (G81) as a new video has now been released by BMW M. It explains the interesting story of how the first prototype came to be. Two donor cars were used to build what will become Bavaria’s belated answer to the Audi RS4 Avant and Mercedes-AMG C63 Estate. It all started with a decommissioned M3 Saloon (G80) test vehicle that had to be stripped down to the bare metal.
After that, BMW M got a hold of a 3 Series Touring (G21) and then the puzzle began to take shape. The next step was to pair the axles of the M3 with the regular estate, which also inherited the mighty inline-six engine from the performance saloon. It sounds fairly simple, but that wasn't the case since the M3 Saloon has wider tracks than the regular estate.
New 2023 BMW M3 Touring Spy Shots
Consequently, chassis modifications had to be done to fatten up the G21 and turn it into what will become the G81 aka the first-ever production M3 Touring. Modifying the body took a lot of work, but the hardware adaptations underneath the vehicle were significantly more difficult to complete. The rear bumper had to blend with the estate's tailgate while still keeping design traits from the saloon.
After doing the conversion, it was time to show the finished prototype "in all of its beauty" to the higher-ups at BMW. Thankfully, this time around, the M3 Touring received the proverbial stamp of approval. When it does debut later this year, the G81 will serve as a spiritual successor to the one-off M3 E46 Touring concept built more than 20 years ago.
Expect the road-going super estate to be sold strictly as a Competition model with xDrive and an automatic transmission. It should be based on the 3 Series facelift debuting in the coming months. The LCI has already been accidentally previewed through an official image of China's i3 Saloon that somehow escaped online a few days ago.