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BMW M3 E46 Touring Concept.

This BMW M was only a feasibility study – yet still today this unique vehicle arouses emotions.

29 November 2021

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.

5 POWERFUL FACTS:

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

NO COMPROMISES.

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.

BMW M3 Touring Concept (E46)BMW M3 Touring Concept (E46)
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

STRONG ACCELERATION.

STRONG APPEARANCE.

Unique paintwork for the concept vehicle: As the prototype was supposed to be immediately identifiable as an M automobile, the developers used chassis components which were also found on the Coupé and Cabrio series models. These included wider wheel housings front and rear, the ventilated bonnet with Powerdome, larger air inlets at the front and the four-pipe exhaust system. With the latter, not only the right look was important – it was also necessary for the model’s high performance.

EXCLUSIVE INTERIOR.

Puristic with an unusual material: Unusual about the feasibility study was the quality of the interior, which was exceptional in terms of workmanship and materials. To emphasize the special character of the BMW M3 Touring Concept, BMW M’s special vehicle manufacturing department took trouble with the interior: Between the side bolsters in Alcantara, a special seat cover was used. The material, called F1, had a metallic touch and was thus very different from the material or leather coverings available at the time.

UNVEILED IN 2016.

THE BMW M3 TOURING

BMW M3 TouringBMW 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.

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