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.
New BMW 3 Series launched with renewed driver focus