For decades, Audi has remained almost uncontested in the compact performance wagon segment. Sure, there’s the Mercedes-AMG C63 Estate but that’s about it. The Audi RS4 Avant’s main competitor, the BMW M3, has only ever been offered as a sedan or a coupe, never giving the RS4 proper competition. Now though, that’s about to change, as the BMW M3 Touring is finally going to be made.
Despite enthusiast-demand, BMW has never actually developed an M3 Touring (BMW’s term for wagon) before. It’s sort of toyed with the idea in the past but never actually followed through. However just today, BMW announced that, in a few years time, you’ll see a proper BMW M3 Touring on the road.
By the time it debuts, which is said to be around 2023, there’s likely going to be a new Audi RS4 Avant on the road. So the M3 almost certainly won’t be contending with this current RS4. That said, if we compare the upcoming M3 Touring to the current RS4 Avant, it doesn’t bode well for the Audi.
Powering the BMW M3 will be a twin-turbocharged I6 that makes, in its base form 473 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque. However, there will also be a Competition model that makes 503 horsepower. The latter of which is a lot more than the 444 horsepower of the RS4 Avant. To make matters worse for the Audi is the fact that the BMW M3 will also be available with all-wheel drive, negating the RS4’s traction advantage.
Further driving the knife into the Audi RS4 Avant is the fact that the BMW M3 Touring could be offered with a manual transmission, while the RS4 has to make do with a traditional automatic. That’s not a certainty but considering the fact that the M3 Sedan will get a manual option, there’s absolutely the possibility that the M3 Touring gets one as well.
There’s really no other official information on the BMW M3 Touring, all we know is it’s coming. It’s not likely to hit the US market, as no performance wagons in the segment do, but it still poses a problem for Audi enthusiasts in America. It will certainly be interesting to see how this plays out and how these two cars compare.