Performance flagship of the upcoming G20 3 Series features significant power upgrade over outgoing model
Felix Page Autocar writer
28 November 2018

Just over a month after the unveiling of the standard 3 Series, BMW has pulled the covers off the range-topping M340i version at the LA motor show.

The performance flagship sits above the 330i in the upcoming G20-generation 3 Series range.

The M340i marks the first time that BMW’s sporting sub-division has preceded the model number of a 3 Series, reflecting the volume of design and tuning elements carried over from full-blown performance models such as the M3.

The M340i's 3.0-litre engine is constructed largely from lightweight aluminium, while a revamped turbocharging system promotes improved fuel efficiency and turbine response. 

At 369bhp, the power output of the six-cylinder unit is 47bhp more than that of the most powerful previous-generation 3 Series. Peak torque is up as well, rising by 37lb ft to 369lb ft.

Our Verdict

BMW 3 Series

The BMW 3 Series' outstanding performance and handling makes it a complete and consummate all-rounder - but then the Jaguar XE and Alfa Romeo Guilia arrived

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

The power upgrades translate to a 0-62mph time of 4.4sec, 0.5sec faster than the outgoing 340i - an achievement brought about in part by the shorter ratios of BMW’s latest eight-speed automatic gearbox.

By comparison, the M340i's biggest rivals, the Mercedes-Benz C43 AMG and Audi S4 are capable of a 4.7sec 0-62 mph time.

The M340i comes equipped with BMW’s xDrive four-wheel drive system, which, alongside an M Sport differential, allows drivers to modify the bias of power toward the rear wheels. 

The new model sits 10mm lower and has a wider track than other variants in the 3 Series line-up, while electronically controlled dampers come as part of the optional Adaptive M suspension system. 

M tuning extends to the standard brake system on the M340i, with M-branded calipers mounted to 348mm discs at the front and 345mm discs at the rear. M-branded 18in alloy wheels can be wrapped in a range of performance-oriented tyres. 

The M340i’s design also sets it apart from the rest of the range. Extra vents at the front are said to “optimise both the cooling air supply and aerodynamics”, while model-exclusive styling elements include a colour-coded rear spoiler and trapezoidal exhaust. 

The launch of the M340i follows speculation that the 2019 Geneva motor show will see the debut of the 3 Series Touring, which will likely be available in M340i-spec. 

Customers can order an M340i from approximately £49,000 as of May 2019, with first deliveries expected from August. 

Read more

New BMW 3 Series launched with renewed driver focus

Join the debate

Comments
23

13 November 2018

  This looks like an absolute monster!, almost beggars...who needs an M3?, blasphemy I hear some cry, isn’t this M340i not fast enough?, plenty power, loads of torque, where are you going ,on the main road,to need more performance?

 

Peter Cavellini.

13 November 2018

"almost beggars..."

 

What?

30 November 2018
Luap wrote:

"almost beggars..."

 

What?

"Paul" spamming again it seems

14 April 2019
FMS is a Knob wrote:

Luap wrote:

"almost beggars..."

 

What?

"Paul" spamming again it seems

 

Whoever fms is, they must've made you take notice, being as you've used those initials as part of your forum name. 

14 November 2018

That looks terrible.

13 November 2018

I have a last-model (Swiss) 340 xdrive touring with the M-Sport Sound & Performance Kit. I believe it was a dealer fit option in the UK but a factory option here. Output was 360 PS / 500NM.

Is there any difference between this 'new' engine and what was previously offered?

13 November 2018

At least it has more than 4 cylinders.

 

It is a shame about the ridiculous cheap digital watch instruments though.  Nothing dates faster than computer graphics that are trying to look modern (assuming the display doesn't fail before then). I'd pay more for some optional proper ones.

13 November 2018

I hate the new instruments and the overdone body kit. 

What if you want a more subtle six cylinder 3 series? What if you’d prefer RWD?

13 November 2018

I bet you would and all. Good job BM aren't marketing this to farty old cumudgeons then isnt it.

Maybe a smelly old Jag would be more up your street.

13 November 2018
John Fox wrote:

I bet you would and all. Good job BM aren't marketing this to farty old cumudgeons then isnt it.

Maybe a smelly old Jag would be more up your street.

Hi John

Smelly old Jag?  Those days are over, Jaguar is now premium.  There isn't a BMW, including this one that can compete with any Jaguar, never will be.

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week