► New BMW 3-series Touring revealed
► Bigger, longer but lighter estate car
► Hybrid version coming next year
We’re not going to get an M3 Touring from Munich, but we can try our best to make one with these new BMW Performance parts. As seen on the 1-series and M8 recently, the new parts are designed to 'motorsport-up' models from BMW’s latest range – and a few of them will actually increase the performance of the cars, too.
There’s six items in total, they’re predictably carbonfibre or shiny gloss black – and we’d probably spec all of them, if we’re honest. Things start small with carbonfibre mirror caps, but if you want to make a bigger statement, you can get an M Performance rear diffuser in carbonfibre or high-gloss black.
Munich is also offering a rear spoiler, Frozen Black sill wrapping and glowing radiator grilles, which sound rather incredible to us. Annoyingly, the Iconic Glow system only works when the car is opened or closed, but it still adds to the drama.
Your faux M3 Touring will also be able to run on special light-alloy 18-inch rims, and sports brakes should actually make the car better at stopping.
Inside you can make your German fast estate a heady mix of stainless steel, Alcantara and carbonfibre trim – obviously.
BMW 3-series Touring: what you need to know
Another day, another new BMW, but rather than a box-ticking SUV, Munich has revealed something altogether more practical and pure. You’re looking at the latest 2019 BMW 3-series Touring, the estate version of the still all-conquering compact executive.
This time around it’ll come with four- and six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, but the bigger news is the hybrid 330e Touring that’ll join the line-up in the summer of 2020. Previously, the 330e has been offered only in saloon guise.
Here's our current pick of the best hybrid cars on sale today
Just like the saloon, the new 3-series Touring is larger than the car it replaces: it’s wider by 16mm, 11mm taller and longer by a full 76mm. The wheelbase is also 41mm longer, so we anticipate plentiful room inside for bodies and bags.
However, BMW claims the new estate is actually lighter than before, with some models shaving off 10kg compared to the last-gen. Body rigidity is up by 25%, and you’ll still get 50:50 weight distribution – before you put anything in the boot, anyway.
The looks: design and style
Face-on, there are no surprises: whatever you think of the 3-series saloon, you’ll continue to think of the Touring’s front end. At the rear, Munich has somehow woven the estate’s increased storage space with the same styling lines of the new saloon, and the result arguably looks better on wagon than on the notchback.
Although the rear lamps still look a bit Lexusy to these eyes, the similarity is less obvious in Touring spec, and the roofline and general back of the car look shapely. As good as a Volvo V60? Very possibly.
It’s still practical though. Roof rails are standard on all trims – though the colour varies depending on what you go for – and the automatic tailgate operation is fitted as standard across the range. You can also open the tailgate window separately, handy in case you're dropping in shopping bags quickly. This feature has been a BMW speciality for some time now.
Trims and engines?
The Touring will come in SE, Sport, M Sport ranges and essentially, the higher you go, the more BMW replaces bits of the Touring with high-gloss black parts. For example, the M Sport comes with high-gloss shadow line trim, a high-gloss black kidney grille, high-gloss black air intakes and a rear diffuser in Dark Shadow. We’re guessing Dark Shadow is probably quite dark and glossy…
The Sport also gets 18-inch V-spoke alloys, and inside, the Sport and M Sport get sport seats to hold you tightly in cornering.
Like the saloon, the petrol range will begin with a 320i with 181bhp, and top out with a 369bhp M340i xDrive. The diesel engines will start with a 318d with 148bhp, and end with a 261bhp 330d. We’ll update this article with prices and engine details as soon as we have them.
BMW M chief Markus Flasch recently ruled out an M3 Touring, saying that the ultra-fast practical BMWs would be SUVs in future, not estates.
M Sport Plus Edition
BMW is offering the UK a special 3-series Touring M Sport Plus Edition which gives you everything in the M Sport Plus package as well the adaptive M Sport suspension, M Sport braking system and other toys. It’ll be available in three exclusive colours - Dravit Grey, Tanzanite Blue and Oxide Grey.