A small group of M engineers had to convince BMW to make the M3 Touring
The BMW M3 Touring is one of the brand’s most exciting cars, but it was actually designed by a small team of dedicated engineers. According to a new video from BMW M, the automaker had no Touring plans when it designed the G80 M3.
According to Christian Karg, who is in charge of the company’s M special editions, he and a few colleagues only decided to put their efforts into designing an M3 Touring when BMW started testing the M3 sedan in winter on a handling strip in Sweden.
“In the evening, during the debriefing, the idea came back, we must make the most of the potential of the M3 and M4,” the engineers said, according to Karg. “‘Let’s think of a Touring again’ and that’s when the M3 Touring was born, in Sweden in the winter of 2019.”
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They knew they had a great drivetrain, they knew they had access to all-wheel drive, and they thought they could put it all together with a wagon body and make a great car. So they quietly worked on it when they had time and managed to design something in their computers that they thought would not only drive great, but would make sense for the company to build it.
That’s when they realized they might actually have to oversell the idea of making the car. And so they decided they would need a life-size model to convince them.
“One day, out of nowhere, I received an invitation to have a coffee with [Christian Karg]explains Hubert Weichselbaumer, who builds vehicle prototypes. “It quickly became clear that this was not a social occasion but had a technical aspect, an underwater aspect. I was asked to think about how we could build an M3 Touring showcar as an internal persuasion for BMW M.”
They found an old M3 test car and started combining it with a G21 wagon body, which included a lot of welding. He says, however, that the hardest part was getting the chassis to work together and then designing rear bumpers that match the M3 but fit the 3 Series Touring hatch.
“Of course, it was a developer’s dream come true,” says Karg. “If you remember the first phases and you see the result live, standing with axles and wheels and you remember the discussions, the meeting with Hubert, the meetings with the decision-makers, with all the colleagues whose need for such a project to make sure everyone is convinced, you get very emotional.