BMW M3 E46 Touring Concept


Millennium driving machine for daily business.

BMW M3 E46 Touring Concept.Millennium driving machine for daily business.

The BMW M3 is an icon. Not only when it was presented in 1986, but it remains one until today. What’s more important is that it was also an icon in the year 2000 when the third generation with the works code E46 saw the light of day. In terms of sales figures, this series was one of the most successful models from BMW M – as Coupé and Cabrio. As they went on sale, however, the engineers already had a third chassis variant in mind: the BMW M3 E46 Touring Concept. The icon as a Touring model? For some, not to be taken seriously, for others, a must. At M GmbH, it didn’t remain an idea for long: a feasibility study and a real prototype had to be made.

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  • 01 Prototype based on the BMW M3 E46
  • 02 Inline 6-cylinder engine with high-rev concept
  • 03 Max. output: 252 kW (343 hp)
  • 04 Unique interior
  • 05 Special paintwork in Chrome Shadow metallic


The BMW M3 Touring was intended to be a true M automobile.

The BMW M3 E46 Touring Concept progressed from the drawing board to the road. There were several important aspects: the ideal chassis design as well as matching the rear doors with the transition to the wide wheel housings. One of the technical challenges was to harmonize the complicated rear axle construction of the BMW M3 with the useful loading space of a Touring model. On top of that, the whole vehicle had to be rigid enough to meet the standards of a true M automobile. And they were high even back then: The precision couldn’t suffer when the full power of the straight six-cylinder engine tugged at the power train.

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“It was important to prove that we could perfectly match the rear doors to the width of the rear wheel housings on the BMW M3.”
Jakob Polschak, former head of Vehicle Prototyping and Workshops BMW M GmbH


Full power for the concept vehicle’s engine.

This engine clearly stood out: Insiders know it as the S54B32 or just S54, since it was the later version of the S50B32 from the BMW M3 E36. At 252 kW (343 hp) it was – apart from the optimized version of the later M3 CSL – the most powerful version of the BMW M 6-cylinder normally aspirated engine for series vehicles. The high torque of 365 Nm was also thanks to the generous 3.2-litre capacity. Thus equipped, the high-rev engine was able to take the BMW M3 Coupé to 100 km/h in 5.2 seconds. On top of that, the BMW M3 E46 was known for its roadholding and highly developed sporting character. The developers were very interested in transferring these driving dynamics to the M3 Touring Concept.

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The BMW M3 E46 Touring Concept was for many years a secret. The model was only presented to the public in 2016, being already 16 years old. Up until then, the prototype had been in dry storage in the secret BMW Garage. The model even made it on to the street, but only for test purposes: The project never went to series production. The concept vehicle, however, was able to impressively prove how much motorsport DNA a Touring can hold when developed by BMW M.

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BMW M3 Touring

Never say never: For the first time in history, there will be a BMW M3 Touring. The connection between M specific peak performance and the intelligent functionality of a Touring model make the BMW M3 G81 a very special vehicle.

BMW M3 Touring Concept (E46)