The hotly-anticipated 2023 BMW M3 Touring performance wagon looks set to be offered in a single, self-shifting configuration when it enters production late in 2022, according to new reports.
According to reputable BMW insider sources cited by enthusiast website BMW Blog, the M3 Touring will enter series production in November 2022, available only in range-topping, automatic-equipped Competition xDrive guise.
That means the full-fat 375kW/650Nm version of the new M3 sedan's 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged straight-six, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission driving all four wheels through a rear-biased, selectable M xDrive all-wheel-drive system.
Yes, you read that right: a manual won't be offered, nor will rear-wheel-drive. A niche market is likely to blame, as well as BMW's confirmation the long-roof M3 won't be sold in the US – typically a market with higher-than-average demand for 'stick-shift' gearboxes.
Above and top: CarAdvice's rendering of the new BMW M3 Touring, courtesy of resident Photoshop expert Theophilus Chin.
As expected, the G81-series BMW M3 Touring's launch will reportedly follow hot on the heels of the launches of the mid-life facelifted M3 sedan and M4 coupe – known as the Life Cycle Impulse (LCI), in BMW parlance – with the start of updated sedan production said to be pencilled in for July 2022.
As a result, the M3 wagon will benefit from the same upgrades as its updated four-door counterpart, headlined by a new dual-screen, freestanding dashboard panel borrowed from the new iX and upcoming i4 electric vehicles.
The length of the G81's production run is expected to mirror that of the regular 3 Series Touring (codenamed G21), which is slated to end in 2025 or 2026.
While the 2023 BMW M3 Touring wagon might only be offered in a sole choice of variant, the all-paw Competition model that will be available will make it to Australian showrooms.
Above: BMW M CEO Markus Flasch sitting in the back of an M3 Touring, as part of a recent promotional video for the German performance brand.
While timing won't be announced until closer to the long-roof's launch date, a November 2022 production start date should translate to a likely local launch in the first half of 2023, if recently-revealed BMW models are any guide.
Variants of the M3 sedan and M4 coupe with the same Competition xDrive running gear as the wagon will beat it to market, the pair going on sale locally in late 2021.
Stay tuned to CarAdvice for all the latest on the BMW M3 Touring – or, by its expected full name, the BMW M3 Competition xDrive Touring – as its unveiling nears.