By Otsile Kadiege
After countless teasers, spyshot images, leaks and dedicated “B’ring it on” episodes, BMW M has finally pealed off the camouflage from the long-awaited M3 Competition Touring, codenamed G81. The newcomer is just in time for the celebration of the M division’s 50th anniversary celebration. It will make its public debut at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed alongside the M3 Competition Touring Moto GP Safety Car and the recently unveiled M4 CSL.
Apart from the Touring (BMW’s way of saying station wagon) body type, much of the bold exterior design is familiar. Upfront, it still sports the topical frameless kidney grille with horizontal slats and M3 Competition badging. The grille is flanked by LED headlights with optional BMW Laserlight Technology. The lower front bumper also features large air intakes for optimum inflow.
The BMW M3 Touring brings model-specific tweaks to the design of the base car’s roof and rear end giving the M3 Touring a standalone visual identity within the model range and beyond. It is 85mm longer externally than the BMW 3 Series Touring, at 4,794mm, 76mm wider (1,903mm) and 4mm lower (1,436mm). It also has particularly large light-alloy wheels – 19-inch at the front axle, 20-inch at the rear. The M-specific forged wheels in double-spoke design come as standard in Jet Black or optionally in bi-colour Jet Black with diamond polished spoke and rim flange faces.
The rear of the M3 Competition Touring boasts a large carbon fibre diffuser with large M quad exhaust pipes. The high-performance Touring model has a separately opening rear window. Customers can opt for the 50years of BMW M emblems which replace the standard BMW emblems.
Two solid paint shades and six metallic options are available for the BMW M3 Touring. Customers can also choose from three BMW Individual finishes and five shimmering matt Frozen variants from the range of BMW Individual special paint finishes, while a wide array of additional BMW Individual colours can be ordered on special request. Whatever exterior colour is specified for the BMW M3 Touring, its roof will be finished as standard in Black high-gloss. The standard roof rails and the model-specific Gurney air-directing flap on the roof spoiler are painted in the same shade.
Practical high-performance car
Climbing aboard the M3 Competition Touring, much of the interior design and technology has been lifted from the G80 sedan model however new to the G81 features an integrated BMW Curved Display with a 12.3-inch information display and a 14.9-inch control display. The displays have M-specific menus and graphics. When it comes to seating and interior materials customers can opt for a full-leather interior trim and M Carbon bucket seats with illuminated model badge integrated into the head restraints.
Being a Touring model, BMW’s first-ever M3 wagon has to be practical. It has a large 500 litre luggage capacity which can be increased to 1,510 litres by folding down the rear seats.
Like its G80 sibling the M3 Touring is powered by a 3.0-litre straight-six engine making 375kW and 650Nm. The high-revving engine is paired to an 8-speed M Steptronic transmission with M Drivelogic as standard. BMW claims that it will accelerate from 0-100km/h in 3.6 seconds thanks to the standard M xDrive all-wheel drive system. It has a top speed of 250km/h or 280km/h with the M Driver’s Package.
The M3 Touring is fitted with BMW’s Adaptive M Suspension with electronically controlled dampers. Standard braking power comes in the form of ventilated M Compound brakes with six-piston fixed calipers upfront and ventilated M Compound brakes with single-piston floating calipers at the rear.
BMW South Africa is yet to announce if our market will receive any units of potent Touring model. Till then, our fingers are crossed.
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