BMW will be the headline act at this summer’s Goodwood Festival of Speed as the automaker and Goodwood jointly celebrate 50 years of BMW M, and give the world its first look at the 2023 M3 Touring.
The Garching-based skunkworks’ anniversary will be commemorated with a giant sculpture on the lawn in front of Goodwood House that the event’s organizers claim will showcase some of the brands’ most iconic cars.
BMW Motorsport was founded in 1972 specifically to run the brand’s racing activities, and started life with a skeleton staff of 35, but is now best known for high-performance road cars like the M1, M3, M4, and M5, a list that will soon be expanded with the launch of the M3 Touring. BMW built an E46 M3 Touring prototype more than 20 years ago, but the proposal was never advanced to the production stage, meaning the 2023 car that makes its debut at Goodwood is the first official M3 wagon.
Exact technical specs are still unconfirmed, so it’s unclear whether BMW will choose to offer both standard and Competition versions of the Touring, plus the choice of rear- and all-wheel drive transmissions. If the 503 hp (510 PS) Competition-tune version of the turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six is the sole model offered, the Touring will come only with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
“As BMW M, we feel honoured to play a very special role at this year’s Festival of Speed,” said, BMW M CEO, Frank van Meel. “For our 50th anniversary, we couldn’t imagine a better place to celebrate our products with fans of the brand. I am particularly looking forward to unveiling a certain vehicle to the world’s public for the first time – a vehicle we have been waiting a long time for.”
This isn’t the first time BMW has taken center stage at the Festival of Speed. The M division’s parent company celebrated its centenary in 2016 when the Central Feature sculpture was unveiled to the accompaniment of a fireworks display while a fleet of the company’s most famous cars swept up the famous hill. BMW M got its own display on that occasion, too, the BMW M Avenue showcasing 12 historic and contemporary cars.