Fast BMW wagons you didn’t know existed


James Ward

The line starts right here for BMW’s freshly revealed G81 M3 Touring wagon (that is until local pricing and economic reality kick in…), and while it may be the first BMW to officially wear an M3 badge, it isn’t its first fast wagon.

Here are some rarities you may have missed over the years…

Produced in limited numbers (1025 units, or just five per cent of total E60 M5 production) between 2007 and 2010, the E61 Touring offered the best of all worlds, with room for three kids and two labradors down the back, and a Formula 1-inspired naturally aspirated V10 engine up front.

The 5.0-litre S85 punches out 373kW and 520Nm, just shy of the new M3 Touring’s 375kW/650Nm combo.


Available exclusively in left-hand-drive, the E34 M5 Touring kept the second-generation sedan’s 250kW/400Nm 3.8-litre S38 inline six-cylinder engine and paired it with the handsome long-roof E34 5 Series wagon.

Only 891 Touring models, from 12,254 total E34 M5, were made.

While BMW never offered an ‘M version of the E39 5 Series, the team at Alpina felt there was still a bit of extra capability in the 540i’s 210kW/440Nm 4.4-litre V8, and a need for people to carry things while travelling fast.

The E39 Alpina B10S used an enhanced version of the M62 V8, with capacity increased to 4.8-litres and outputs extended to 276kW and 510Nm.

Alpina wagon shoppers could also choose a ‘regular’ B10 with a 4.6-litre V8, or a D10 Biturbo with a 3.0-litre six-cylinder twin-turbo diesel.


E36 BMW M3 Touring Concept

Just because the new G81 is the first official M3 Touring, doesn’t mean BMW hasn’t tried it before.

In 2000, BMW engineers produced a single E46 M3 Touring, essentially to prove that the M3’s flared arches and muscular stance could work with the five-door wagon body style.

The car was mechanically identical to the regular E46 M3 Coupe, and was kept under wraps until 2016. It now resides in the BMW Museum.


Another Alpina, this time based on the E36 3 Series.

Even seeing an E36 Touring is a bit strange, as the wagon was never offered in Australia. Alpina offered a number of versions with either a 3.0-litre or 3.2-litre six-cylinder engine, as well as a magnificently crazy 4.6-litre V8 with 245kW and 470Nm.

Based on the range-topping 328i Touring, the B8 4.6 could polish off the 0-100km/h sprint in just 5.7 seconds and could be wound out to 275km/h on a trip to the shops.


E30 BMW M3 Touring custom

Sadly only available to those with some impressive fabrication skills and a deft hand, is the E30 BMW M3 Touring.

A meld of a regular 3 Series wagon and two-door M3 Coupe, these custom wagons are a little bit of fantasy becoming reality, but perhaps indicating what we all know, and BMW has finally seen fit to do, that a BMW M3 Touring wagon looks amazing regardless of generation!

E32 BMW 750iL Touring Coachbuilt

I’ve left this one to last, as it is a blend of all the other wagons presented, with a result that is nothing short of magnificent.

Using the E32 BMW 7 Series as a base, an engineering firm in Germany, LR Fahrzeugbau GmbH, worked with BMW to create 10 examples of a 7 Series wagon. This one was the only long wheelbase ‘L’ variant and is fitted with the flagship 5.0-litre M70 V12 engine with 220kW and 450Nm available.

The car now sits lower and wider on a set of Alpina’s iconic finned wheels and looks every bit the factory-built luxury tourer it should have been.

Know of any other fast BMW wagons? Let us know in the comments below!

James Ward

James has been part of the digital publishing landscape in Australia since 2002 and has worked within the automotive industry since 2007. He joined CarAdvice in 2013, left in 2017 to work with BMW and then returned at the end of 2019 to spearhead the content direction of Drive.

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