Johannesburg - The G20 generation BMW 3 Series hit South African streets earlier this year offering all the latest in BMW tech, but buyers were given just two engine options in the form of the four-cylinder 330i petrol and 320d diesel models.
But that rather limited range is set to expand soon with three new variants planned from July 2019 production, the petrol line-up being topped and tailed by the M340i xDrive and 320i variants, and the diesel effort boosted with the latest 330d.
Serving as something of an M3 Lite, while topping the pile until the actual M3 arrives, the M340i xDrive is powered by the most potent version of BMW’s 3-litre straight-six turbopetrol, and in this form it’s good for 275kW and 500Nm.
Its urge goes to all four wheels through an eight-speed autobox and an xDrive all-wheel-drive system, which - with a little help from Launch Control - delivers the power to the tarmac smoothly enough to get the car from 0-100km/h in just 4.4 seconds, according to claims. That’s just 0.1 seconds slower than the outgoing M3, for the record.
The AWD system has a rearward bias, although torque distribution between the front and rear axles is fully variable, while its corner carving ability is given a further boost by the fully-variable M Sport rear differential and 10mm-lower M Sport suspension system.