BMW M340i revealed, Australian debut due late next year

Ruben Fields
November 14, 2018

The next-generation BMW 3 Series sedan is making the auto show rounds. Torque now peaks at 369lb ft, helping the M340i to hit 62mph half a second earlier than the previous quickest non-M3 3 Series, the 340i (of the now discontinued F-generation) - although, again, some of the gains made in away-from-the-line performance can be attributed to the standard fitment of xDrive.

Just like Mercedes-AMG is using its lower-tier models like the C43 to bridge the gap below the hooligan-spec variants, BMW's M Performance models are fulfilling a similar role within the Bavarian line-up and the new M340i xDrive is a natural rival to that aforementioned C43. BMW estimates it will take the sedan 4.2 seconds to reach 60 miles per hour from a standstill when paired with available xDrive all-wheel drive. BMW wants to reclaim its crown as the purveyor of the ultimate driving machine, and the M340i is a key part of its offensive. The sedan will be showcased at the Los Angeles Motor Show later this month with the global market debut slated for July 2019. In Sport and Sport+ modes, the valve-controlled exhaust system generates a "particularly distinctive" sound that will be "intensively perceptible" in the cabin. Regardless of which wheels are driven, the M340i comes exclusively with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Also altered are the track widths and wheel camber angles.

We move on to suspension, comprising of a double-joint spring strut front axle and a five-arm rear axle, both of which have been optimised in terms of weight and stiffness. The M Sport differential is electronically controlled with a fully variable rear-locking function. Also there's something called "variable sport steering", said to provide better feedback. Hmm.

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Talking about the CPU, the Exynos 9820 packs 2x 4th gen custom cores, 2x Cortex A75 cores, and 4x Cortex A55 cores. The biggest one is a supposed " punch hole " element in the front display to house the front-facing selfie camera.

The brakes are now four-piston units at the front and single-pistons on the rear, with 348- and 345-millimeter discs respectively. M-branded 18in alloy wheels can be wrapped in a range of performance-oriented tyres. This includes the new iteration of BMW's kidney grille which features mesh design instead of the characteristic vertical louvres.

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. The digital instrument cluster bears the "M340i" logo, which can also be found on the front door sills.

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