BMW has released the first official pictures and details on its new M340i xDrive ahead of the souped-up saloon’s physical unveiling at the LA Motor Show later this month.
It’s the first performance variant of the latest 3 Series and serves as an appetiser to the full-fat M3, which is due to be revealed at some point in 2019.
Available from July 2019, the M340i xDrive comes with a developed version of BMW’s three-litre turbocharged straight-six engine. Compared to the previous generation 340i, power output has been ramped up by 47bhp to 369bhp, while torque climbs 50Nm to 500Nm.
This extra punch has been made possible thanks to redeveloped turbochargers and higher pressure fuel injectors than before.
The end result is a 4.4-second 0-62mph sprint and stronger running costs with fuel economy and CO2 changing to 37.6mpg and 172g/km. However, it’s worth mentioning that those figures were in the old NEDC test cycle and could change when the car is assessed under WLTP test.
Previously rear-wheel-drive only, the M340i xDrive is – obviously – now all-wheel-drive, with power going through an eight-speed gearbox.
The M340i xDrive rides on M Sport suspension, which lowers the car by 10mm, compared to the standard 3 Series. The car’s track is slightly wider too, while electronically controlled adaptive dampers make the options list.
Aesthetically, the car’s front apron, side sills and rear end have been redesigned to optimise both the cooling air supply and aerodynamics.
The iconic BMW kidney grille boasts a mesh design, the rear spoiler in body colour and trapezoidal exhaust tailpipe trims, as well as exterior mirror caps, air intake struts, the front surfaces of the BMW kidney grille, tailpipe trims and model lettering finished in cerium grey metallic.
Inside, there’s sports seats with M-specific upholstery in a sensatec/alcantara trim, an anthracite BMW Individual roof liner, M leather-clad steering wheel with shift paddles and interior trim strips in Aluminium Tetragon provide for an intensive driving pleasure oriented ambience.
Jess Wort, marketing manager at Petrol News, comments: “The new M3 will be an absolute monster but before we get that, the M340i xDrive is a tasty starting course.”
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