Munich - 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.
Although the M340i was briefly mentioned when the new-generation 3 Series was revealed at the Paris show last month, BMW has now gone into detail on what will be the range-topper until new M3 comes along, and is also showing us pictures of it for the first time - note the unique grille with Ceramic Grey surrounds, unique front and rear bumpers and jumbo exhaust tips.
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.
That all-wheel-drive traction, with a helping hand from Launch Control, help the M340i sprint off the line almost as quickly as the previous M3, it’s 4.4 second claimed 0-100km/h time being just 0.1s adrift.
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.