AC Schnitzer has given the BMW M3 Touring 602bhp | Top Gear
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Wednesday 29th March

AC Schnitzer has given the BMW M3 Touring 602bhp

New package of modifications announced for BMW’s shiny new performance estate

Published: 03 Feb 2023

German tuner AC Schnitzer has revealed its suite of modifications for the shiny new BMW M3 Touring, and it takes what is already a supremely fast estate into something that’d feel at home on a racetrack.

Well, “at least occasionally”, according to its release. Attempting to deepen the apparent contradiction between estate cars that fly under the radar with performance capable of actually taking flight, ACS has, in the first instance, upped power quite considerably.

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BMW M deems 503bhp from a 3.0-litre turbocharged straight-six engine to be more than sufficient for its M3 Touring. ACS has upped that to 582bhp and 553lb ft of torque via its ‘Stage I’ programme, or the full 602bhp with ‘Stage II’, both achieved by a new ECU.

Stage II also includes a new stainless steel exhaust setup (optional with Stage I, btw), that continues with the quad rear tailpipe setup but promises “a powerful, sporty sound with improved exhaust flow”.

Better road flow via upgraded suspension, too. “Better fast than hard,” goes ACS’s suspension philosophy. A new spring kit is available that lowers the M3 Touring by 15-20mm on the front but keeps the same factory M springs at the back. The ‘RS Coilover’ setup brings new dampers adjustable in both height, compression and rebound.

We’re told this latter option mirrors the M3 Touring’s factory setup, with ‘good-natured’ load change reactions coupled with ‘gentle understeer’ at the limits. But where the RS Coilover setup differs is where it offers “significantly higher cornering speeds with absolutely comfortable everyday handling”.

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New wheels are available, although some of the designs are certainly questionable. There are new aerodynamic elements too, like a new front splitter said to add 40kg of additional downforce, front side ‘wings’, new side skirts, a rear roof spoiler said to add 20kg of downforce and a few trim elements. You can accessorise the interior too, via aluminium paddles, pedals and a footrest. Oh, and lots of leather and Alcantara.

“All parents who have swapped their sports car for a station wagon can now breathe a sigh of relief,” says ACS, because its M3 Touring “is very happy to be an everyday family car, but also as happy to be on the racetrack.

“At least occasionally.”

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