BMW has revealed the flagship of its new 3 Series range, the M340i xDrive, ahead of its Los Angeles motor show debut next week.
The M340i will crown the range until the full-fat M3 arrives late next year. It also marks the first time that the initial of BMW’s sporting M division has preceded the model number of a 3 Series. It’s powered by a 3.0-litre single-turbo straight-six petrol engine made largely from aluminium. Benefiting from an efficient twin-scroll turbo and higher-pressure fuel injectors, it produces 369bhp and 369lb ft of torque. That’s 47bhp and 37lb ft more than the previous 340i.
Those figures translate to a 0-62mph time of 4.4sec – half a second quicker than the old car – partly due to the shorter ratios of BMW’s latest eight-speed automatic gearbox. It’s also down to the 2019 BMW M340i G20 being four-wheel drive for the first time.
An M Sport differential allows drive to be biased towards the rear – even more obviously so in Sport and Sport+ modes. Further standard features include a launch control function and active sports exhaust system.
The M340i is 10mm lower and has a wider track than the regular 3 Series. Electronically controlled dampers are fitted as standard. Uprated brakes, M-branded 18in alloy wheels (19in alloys are optional) and performance tyres also feature.
The exterior appearance has also been revised with additional air intakes, a new rear spoiler and dual trapezoidal exhaust exits. UK spec has yet to be finalised, but the cabin is expected to have M-specific upholstery with a mix of leather and Alcantara, plus an M Sport steering wheel.
Customers can order an M340i from May 2019, with pricing set to be around £49,000.