The E46 BMW M3 Touring
While this is the first M3 Touring it also isn't. In 2000 BMW built an M3 Touring based on the E46 platform, the car never made it past prototype stage, kept under wraps in-house while a production model was being considered.
“This prototype allowed us to show that, from a purely technical standpoint at least, it was possible to integrate an M3 Touring into the ongoing production of the standard BMW 3 Series Touring with very little difficulty,” explains BMW's Jakob Polschak. “One thing we needed to demonstrate was that the rear doors of the standard production model could be reworked to adapt them to the rear wheel arches without the need for new and expensive tools.”
It transpired that, once the prototype had passed through the assembly line, the M3 Touring required only minimal work to accept the M-specific add-on parts and interior details, expected of any self-respected M3.