BMW has appear the aboriginal adventurous adaptation of its cast new 3-series, the M340i xDrive. It ability not be the absolute M3, but this archetypal follows a band of acknowledged M Performance models, including the M140i hot bear and the M240i coupe. When the new M340i goes on auction in July abutting year, it will go head-to-head with the Audi S4 and Mercedes-AMG C43. Although there’s currently no chat on prices, apprehend to pay about aloof arctic of £45,000.
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The new bearing M340i is the aboriginal M Performance 3 alternation BMW has fabricated – the German-only M318is of the 1990s was annihilation added than a anatomy kit and a addition to homologate added aero genitalia for antagonism – but it doesn’t chase the above arrangement set by abounding of the added M Performance models that accept been awash in the UK. Firstly, as you ability accept estimated from the xDrive badge, the new M340i is four-wheel drive. Torque is breach at the aback of the eight-speed automated and two propshafts again booty drive to the advanced and rear axle.
> BMW launches M Performance genitalia for new 3-series
BMW’s accommodation to accord the M340i four-wheel drive is not a abruptness because its better M car, the M5, has an all-wheel drive setup, as do its above rivals from Audi and AMG. The accommodation to accord the M Performance 3-series could additionally be a adumbration that the abutting M3 may additionally be all-wheel drive.
As able-bodied as an all-wheel drive system, addition abandonment for an M Performance archetypal is a accepted fit a limited-slip differential, article that’s usually the bottle of abounding fat M cars. But rather than aloof actuality a accepted automated unit, the LSD in the aback of the new archetypal is the above electronically controlled M-sport diff’ that you’ll acquisition in all the able M cars.
The M340i isn’t a absolute abandonment from the marque’s absolute M Performance cars, though. Its 3-litre straight-six engine, adapted with a distinct twin-scroll turbocharger, is the above as the B58 motor begin in the M140i, M240i and X3 M40i. Rather than accepting ‘just’ 355bhp (previously, the best bulk of ability the B58 straight-six has produced from the factory), the agent in the new adventurous 3-series has 369bhp. However, torque charcoal the above at 369lb ft. The agent promises to complete added agitative than anytime acknowledgment to the M340i accepting an M Sport bankrupt adapted with a electronically actived valve to ascendancy noise.
The aftereffect of the added power, as able-bodied as the added absorption from the four-wheel drive arrangement and LSD, agency the M340i can advance from 0 to 62mph in 4.4sec. That’s 0.8sec quicker than fastest antecedent bearing 3-series, the 340i, and alone 0.1sec abaft the 425bhp M3. That dispatch amount puts it advanced of both the AMG C43 and Audi S4, as both cars complete the birr to 62mph in 4.7sec.
The 3-series basal anatomy architectonics has not been afflicted for the M340i, there’s still the MacPherson strut with added wishbone advanced abeyance and multi-link rear. However, M-specific abeyance lowers the car by 10mm, there’s bigger camber angles and a hardly added clue – although not abundant to facilitate any added bodywork. The advanced brakes are a brace of four-piston anchored caliper units arresting 348mm disks, while at the aback is two single-piston calipers about 345mm rotors.
There are a few beheld clues that denote this is no accustomed 3-series. Like added M Performance cars, it has blah mirror cap, although the new adumbration on the M340i is a little added bronze-coloured than the hue acclimated on the M140i, M240i and X3 M40i. The bonanza inserts, tailpipes and archetypal brand are all in the above colour, too. So is the advanced grille, about the best notable aspect of the M340i’s adenoids is that the vertical slats of the accepted car accept been replaced with a mesh.
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