BMW M3 (E46) wagon: You Know You Want To

Alright, the bad bits first. It's in New Zealand. It's SMG. And silver might be a bit predictable for an M3. But then this is an (unofficial, of course) M3 Touring, and you probably don't need us to tell you what a fantastically exciting prospect that is.

Just in case you do, here's a brief outline: first off, fast estates are always cooler than fast saloons or coupes. They just are. See Audi RS6, Mercedes C63 and Volvo 850 T5. Secondly, this particular estate is built to E46 M3 spec, arguably one of the best BMW M cars ever produced, and then some. A combination of muscular good looks, fantastic dynamics and a savage straight six saw to that.

BMW once made an E46 M3 Touring concept, and mighty fine it looked too, but for whatever reason decided not to produce it. The most commonly held belief is that, while success could have been counted on in Europe, sales predictions were not as rosy elsewhere. Shame. Especially when Audi saw enough potential in the RS4 to launch an estate-only model at about the same time.

Still, it has at least meant a few - apparently six globally - M3 Tourings have emerged, the result of dedicated BMW enthusiasts picking up where that concept left off.

And doesn't it look superb? This one isn't quite standard, lowered via Bilstein PSS10s on Avant Garde M359 19-inch wheels, but it works wonders for the stance. Indeed this M3 Touring is optimised with a fast road/track set up including Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres, Pagid brakes pads and braided lines plus intake and exhaust tweaks. The seller says the car, "would make the perfect addition to a BMW collection, or you could simply use it daily as I have, it is a very well set up car" - perhaps it could work as a track project too...

See, this isn't some garage queen; it began life as a 318 and has been used as a daily driver in M3 guise, covering 180,000 kilometres in the process. There's no need to be afraid about using it, basically, and it would be a real pity to see such hard work no longer enjoyed.

It's always hard to value projects like this, when huge amounts of time and money have been invested into the finished project. Especially when it's then taken beyond OEM spec as well. At least with this car everything appears to be working, so it wouldn't require much from the next owner.

Given this car is in Waikato, you would have to hope that the $48,000 price is in New Zealand dollars and not US. At the former it's £25,000, the latter £35,000. Not a cheap car either way, but also not absurd in the current climate. And the E46 M3 is becoming more desirable as a classic, seemingly by the day. Being on the other side of the world isn't exactly ideal, but it looks like one lucky buyer could be in for the best M car BMW never made.


Price: $48,000
Why you should: E46, M3, Touring
Why you shouldn't: SMG, NZ, OMG

See the original advert here.







P.H. O'meter

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Comments (72) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Johnspex 02 Jan 2018

    I would love that.

  • Hairymonster 02 Jan 2018

    Yes please!! Yummy.

  • culpz 02 Jan 2018

    Looks great. I believe there were a few conversions done by some fellow PH'ers on here. Although, one that i did start to read was abandoned, mid-project, much to my disappointment. I can imagine that it would become fairly expensive to do, so i can fully understand why.

    I find the title of this quite ironic, as i'm sure BMW would have shifted a few M3 Touring models. It's all shoulda-woulda-coulda really, as it was never offered.

  • gt69 02 Jan 2018

    Hmmm - would seriously consider swapping my RS2 for something like this - I have an E46 M3 and absolutely love it, in an estate body would be wonderful. The E46 is the better car in every measurable way, save from the turbo nuttiness, unsurprising as it's a generation newer, though not as iconic. But an E46 M3 Touring would be pretty special. It's a nice dilemma to have!

  • LouD86 02 Jan 2018

    Southways did one, a Blue Tourer from Memory. Lovely machine, Rich aka Kitchski I think on here, man of fabled AX/BX/TVR woes was the one

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