Street takeovers are always an unpredictable spectacle, and New York street race fans were in for a treat recently when a rare BMW M3 Touring made an appearance. What made this sighting even more surprising was the fact that the M3 Touring, a model not sold in the U.S., was right-hand drive and donned British license plates. In a thrilling display, the M3 Touring engaged in a race with an F90-generation M5 on a blockaded section of the city’s roads. This impromptu showdown left onlookers in awe as the M3 Touring showcased its remarkable performance capabilities.
The Unexpected Encounter
A video uploaded to roc-nyc’s TikTok and YouTube accounts captured the exhilarating encounter between the M3 Touring and the M5. The race unfolded on the NY-878, a road near JFK Airport, where race fans had taken over, blocking off the area to create makeshift drag strips. The presence of semi trucks in the background at the start of the face-off indicated that the truckers were unable to intervene due to the sheer number of race enthusiasts present.
M5 Takes an Early Lead
Both the F90 M5 and the M3 Touring are equipped with all-wheel drive, which can be switched to rear-wheel drive from the driver’s seat. As the race began, the M5 launched ahead, establishing a solid half-a-car lead over the M3 Touring. However, the M3 Touring quickly closed the gap, showcasing its impressive acceleration and agility. A second camera angle revealed that as the pair crossed the finish line, the M3 Touring had surged ahead, leaving a considerable distance between itself and its sedan counterpart.
The Alien M3 Touring
The unique M3 Touring featured in the race belongs to UK-based R44 Performance. According to the company’s website, the vehicle was initially collected in Miami in its stock form before undergoing a series of modifications to prepare it for appearances at tuning shows in the U.S. The original Brooklyn Grey paint was transformed with a Khaki Green wrap, and various carbon trim pieces were added, including a carbon roof panel—a feature exclusive to the M3 sedan. To enhance the vehicle’s aesthetics, the suspension was replaced with an air-ride kit, and a set of S21-01 forged alloys from Vossen completed the distinct look of the M3 Touring.
- Brooklyn Grey paint transformed with a Khaki Green wrap
- Addition of carbon trim elements, including a carbon roof panel
- Replacement of suspension with an air-ride kit
- Installation of S21-01 forged alloys from Vossen
The Unavailability of the M3 Touring in the U.S.
The presence of the M3 Touring in the U.S. is a rarity, as BMW does not officially import this model to North America. Therefore, the chances of encountering an M3 Touring on American roads in the next 25 years are close to none. The appearance of this right-hand drive, British-registered M3 Touring in New York City only added to its mystique and allure.
The impromptu street race between the BMW M3 Touring and the F90 M5 captivated New York street race enthusiasts. The M3 Touring’s unexpected presence and impressive performance left a lasting impression. As an exceptionally rare vehicle in the U.S., this sighting showcased the allure and excitement that comes with witnessing a unique and powerful machine in action. While the M3 Touring may remain a forbidden fruit for American automotive enthusiasts, its appearance on the streets of New York City will be remembered as a thrilling moment in car culture.