The new 3 Series goes on sale in South Africa during the first half of 2019, with the M340i likely following at a later stage.
Power development and speed increase are accompanied by the characteristic sound of the straight six-cylinder engine, which has gained additional presence thanks to the M Sport exhaust unit.
This is the fastest, seventh-gen BMW 3-Series you will soon be able to buy that's not a full-fledged M model.
The M340i is powered by a revised version of BMW's 3-litre straight-six turbopetrol, producing 275kW and 500Nm, and feeding all wheels through an eight speed automatic gearbox and xDrive system. The sedan will be showcased at the Los Angeles Motor Show later this month with the worldwide market debut slated for July 2019.
Torque distribution between the front and rear axles is fully variable, but the system does have a rearward bias which is particularly prominent when the driver has selected either the Sport or Sport+ driver experience control mode. Short ratios for the lower gears improve acceleration and a Launch Control function can be used for showboating.
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That all-wheel-drive traction, with a helping hand from Launch Control, help the M340i sprint off the line nearly as quickly as the previous M3, it's 4.4 second claimed 0-100km/h time being just 0.1s adrift. Also altered are the track widths and wheel camber angles.
A further integral part of the M Sport suspension and the Adaptive M suspension is the Variable Sport Steering feature, which supports agile cornering with outstanding feedback as well as spontaneous and precise response. Standard 18-inch M light alloy wheels are wrapped in 225/45R18 tires in the front; and 255/40R18 in the back.
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.
Since the M340i sits among the regular model line-up, it does without muscle flexing features like flared arches.
As you'll see in these new images, the 2020 BMW M340i distinguishes itself with a special mesh grille.
Inside, all three of these cars get a carbon fiber look, sports seats, loads of contrast stitching and sporty steering wheels, although the M340i's is just chunky, whereas the other two have flat bottom designs.