2020 BMW M340i revealed, Australian debut due late next year

BMW adds an M badge, more power and more bling to its new (temporary) hero model in the 3 Series range.

New 2019 BMW M340i and M340i xDrive models have been revealed tonight ahead of their Australian debut, properly positioned as an AMG C43 rival – and with the glittery grille bling to match.

This follows a basic detailing at last month’s Paris motor show, where BMW confirmed its key points: 275kW of power, 500Nm of torque, and a 0-100km/h time of 4.4 seconds in the xDrive model. (A sprint time for the rear-spinner still hasn’t been offered.)

By comparison, the outgoing 340i lists 240kW, 450Nm, and 5.2 seconds. A fair improvement, then.

In terms of power and torque, the new sub-M3 M offering still falls short of AMG’s new entry-level option – the all-wheel-drive C43 4Matic – thanks to its recent 17kW power boost to 287kW, and the same 520Nm it already offered. But, then, AMG only promises a 0-100km/h time of 4.7 seconds.

Power in the M340i is provided by a twin-scroll turbocharged in-line six, of course, matched to an eight-speed Steptronic auto. Nope, no manual here.

In the new line-up, th M340i models will rule for a while above the four-cylinder 190kW/400Nm 330i and the 135kW/300Nm 320i. Diesel models include the 195kW/580Nm 330d, the 140kW/400Nm 320d, and th 110kW/320Nm 318d.

Australian specifications are still to be confirmed, but the global release talks of standard-fit 10mm-lower M suspension, optional adaptive M suspension, variable sports steering, 18-inch M light alloy wheels and M-Sport brakes, along with an M-Sport differential.

On the cosmetics front, the M340i gives a nod to Merc’s success with over-styling the front-end jewellery, debuting a new look-at-me grille treatment and just a hint of gold colouring across all of the usually silver exterior highlights.

Inside, there’s sport seats trimmed in faux leather and Alcantara, or proper optional leather seats with contrast stitching.

Chasing something with a little less bling, and a little more race-style? There’s still the broader M Performance styling and handling options to choose from, as detailed last month.