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The new BMW 3 Series that’s as quick as the outgoing M3

By Louis Cordony, 09 Jan 2020 Features

BMW M340i xDrive performance testing feature

BMW’s sole six-cylinder 3 Series is seriously quick

If you wanted progress from the new BMW 3 Series, wrap your head around the BMW M340i xDrive that’s as quick as the outgoing M3 and costs a smidge under $100,000.

It's first M Performance offering in the 3 Series range and the first all-wheel drive 3 to be sold in Australia. It’s also the sole six-cylinder 3 on sale, wringing a healthy 285kW and 500Nm from its specially tuned B58 engine.

Considering this news, we made sure we tested one at first opportunity, and you’ll be able to read our full road test when MOTOR’s January issue hits stands today (January 9). When you do, we’re hoping you notice the performance figures we extracted from BMW’s new beast.

On a warm spring day at Heathcote Raceway last year the M340i xDrive stormed 100km/h from rest in 4.1 seconds. Look closer at the data logged on our PerformanceBox and it reveals that it actually achieved the sprint in 4.07sec without rounding the figures.

For comparison, we tested an M3 Pure a couple years ago in a sedan comparison, and from rest it bolted to 100km/h in 4.15sec. We were happy with that, since it was quoted to complete the feat in 4.1 seconds.

MOTOR feature: M3 CS - Farewell to the F80

So, in fact, this M340i, what is meant to wedge between BMW’s regular and full-house M offerings, is fractionally quicker than the outgoing M3. And, unlike the M3, it smashes its quoted performance, which is 4.4 seconds, something more in line with its rivals like the Mercedes-AMG C43 and Audi S4.

We hear you, though. It’s all-wheel drive, so surely it’s slowing down towards the drag strip’s end? Its terminal speed lags at 183.12km/h while that M3 Pure stormed to 191.39km/h, revealing how the M340i xDrive crosses the quarter mile in 12.26sec, as opposed to the M3’s 12.14.

As always, no rollout is applied, meaning timing starts as soon as it moves. So it’s a freaky set of numbers that show BMW has upped its performance for the G20 3 Series.

Scarily, it implies the incoming M3, with all-wheel drive and 375kW, should easily dip into the 3sec bracket for 0-100km/h times and 11sec range on the quarter miles. Bring it on.

BMW M340i xDrive
0-10km/h 0.25sec
0-20km/h 0.60sec
0-30km/h 0.91sec
0-40km/h 1.25sec
0-50km/h 1.60sec
0-60km/h 1.98sec
0-70km/h 2.40sec
0-80km/h 2.89sec
0-90km/h 3.46sec
0-100km/h 4.07sec
0-110km/h 4.75sec
0-120km/h 5.45sec
0-130km/h 6.25sec
0-140km/h 7.20sec
0-150km/h 8.19sec
0-160km/h 9.27sec
0-170km/h 10.44sec
0-180km/h 11.82sec
0-400m 12.26sec @
100-0km/h 35.1m

Heathcote Dragway, 24˚C, dry. No rollout applied.
Driver: Louis Cordony
Official timing supplier: www.vboxaustralia.com.au

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