BMW has no competitor for the RS4 Avant as yet. I know there are customers out there that would definitely like an M3 Touring but I guess it’s just not enough for BMW. If you pick up copies of BMW Magazine or Performance BMW from the newstands you can sometimes see E46 Tourings turned into makeshift M3s. Each of the other 3-Series bodies have already received its M3 – the E90, E92, and the E93, but at least the E91 has a 335i, which can be chipped into an M3 contender.
Another option would be to get one of these babies – an “M3 Estate” custom-built from an E91 by Manhart Racing. It’s not exactly an M3 with a touring tail – the engine and transmission package in the engine bay is completely different as well and comes from the ‘older’ E60 M5. This means a big 5.0 liter high-revving V10 putting out 550 PS and BMW’s 7-speed single clutch SMG transmission. It’s already been pre-tuned with various bits and pieces from factory – a stainless steel quad-pipe exhaust, 200-cell racing catalysts, Stoptech brakes, etc.
The rear end of the car is typical E91 wagon (in these photos it is the pre-facelift version) but at the front, the whole unappealing pre-facelift E90 front-end has been replaced by the E92 coupe look, which is the same thing that BMW did with the E90 M3 Sedan anyway. You can buy one for €120,000, and of course converting your existing E91 is cheaper.
© 2009 Paul Tan's Automotive News. All Rights Reserved.
This story originally appeared on Paul Tan's Automotive News on Wed, 14 Oct 09 13:29:44 +0800.