BMW has revealed its new M3 Touring, bringing a performance estate into its ranks for the very first time. It hasn’t weighed into battle underprepared, mind you, with a twin-turbocharged straight-six engine and four-wheel-drive ensuring that the Touring will be ultra capable in all areas.
But that doesn’t mean it’s going to be plain sailing. There are a number of rivals that the Touring will need to contend with and we’re checking them out below.
The Mercedes-AMG C63 has always been well-known for its adoption of a V8 engine, but it looks likely that the new version – due to arrive later this year – will use a hybrid setup instead, centred around a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine.
Though details are scarce, it’s thought that the new C63 could develop as much as 670bhp from its petrol and electric combination.
Often seen as the go-to everyday choice, the RS4 is one of Audi’s core performance models. With a turbocharged 2.9-litre V6 engine it’s got plenty of performance, but Audi’s quattro all-wheel-drive system means that this power can be deployed no matter the conditions.
It’s also very practical and has a solid and well-built interior that’ll put up with daily driving duties.
Another key rival for the M3 Touring comes from within BMW’s stable – the Alpina B3 Touring. Similar in mechanical layout to the M3, the B3 utilises the same engine setup but uses an overall design that leans more towards comfort than outright sportiness.
Inside, it’s got Alpina’s usual attention to detail, while a well-judged suspension setup means that the B3 is superbly comfortable in the UK.
Though Volkswagen’s Golf R might cost considerably less than the £80,550 M3 Touring, it really punches above its weight in terms of performance. A turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine pushes out 316bhp, equating to a 0-60mph time of just 4.7 seconds.
It’s also practical and spacious, while a four-exit exhaust gives the Golf R a distinctive noise, too.
Similar in design to the Golf R Estate is the Cupra Leon Estate. The newly-formed brand has really been gaining traction in recent years and the Leon Estate is one of its most potent models to date.
It uses the same 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine as the Golf, but features some of the standout design touches that Cupra has become known for.
Finally, we have another entry from Mercedes-AMG in the form of the CLA45 Shooting Brake. It can’t match the M3 for outright spaciousness, but thanks to a 415bhp turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine it’ll manage the 0-60mph sprint in under four seconds.
It also features a clever 4Matic all-wheel-drive system to provide excellent traction in even very slippery conditions.
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