The future of BMW has arrived, at least the pre-release models have, and the future is gorgeous. It’s always thrilling to get a chance to preview the latest from this iconic company. Few have their sense of tradition or perspective on the future. You’ll be hard pressed to find another car company that comes right out and tells you that, after a hundred years they have a plan to stay on top for a hundred more.
BMW, A History of Innovation and Power
Before we talk about the future, let us take a moment to admire where it all started. BMW has been around since 1916. It’s not surprising that they produce streamlined and speedy machines since they began as a company that produces airplane engines. When you start with the dream to throw yourself into the sky, you tend to fly higher and dream harder than others.
In 1923 when the restrictions of the Armistice Treaty were finally beginning to be removed, they produced their first motorcycle, the R32. It was five years later that they acquired Automobilwerk Eisenach and began making cars. The Dixi 3/15 went from its first iteration to being produced as the BMW 3/15. Then in 1932, the BMW 3/20 was the first entirely BMW designed car and the very next year the 303 model featured the first straight six engine. The straight six was such a success that the M340i is carrying it today.
After more than a hundred years of stunning innovations, BMW knows how to make machines sit up and perform, but they have also developed a stunning sense of their own style. Nothing quite compares to a ‘bimmer’. The M series was born to race. The racing division first saw the track in 1972 and they’ve never looked back. The latest M, the 2020 340i carries that spirit and tradition forward into the new era with sleek and aggressive looks, and the performance you’ve come to expect.
2020 BMW M340i Stats
- Engine- Turbocharged inline 6
- Horsepower- 382
- Torque- 369 lb/ft
- Acceleration- 0-60 in 4.2 seconds
- Electronically Limited Top Speed- 155
- Transmission- 8-speed Steptronic automatic
- Breaks- M Sport- front 13.7-inch rotors and four-piston calipers, back 13.6-inch rotors and single-piston calipers
- Price- Starts around $51,000
Easy to Love
With a full array of external LEDs including the adaptive headlamps to light the way, the future is bright. Everything about the M340i has been upgraded. This model sports the best slip in its class with a drag coefficient of 0.23. This means it slices through the air like a shark on the prowl, and at 121 pounds lighter it moves with the same grace, cornering like a dream. The performance and handling live up to the sporty history and intentions of this automotive masterpiece without breaking a sweat.
From the BMW kidney grille with its distinctive mesh all the way to the throaty tailpipe with its distinctive sound profile, this machine is easy on the eyes. The apron and side sills are a thing of beauty designed for aerodynamics, but they also functionally help with cooling. The rear spoiler and trapezoidal exhaust tailpipe make for a nice finishing touch, and it’s probably the only part of the M340i that the competition will get to look at given the power under the hood.
Inside there’s plenty to enjoy as well. The leather steering wheel and shift paddles are standard just like the interior ambient LEDs and anthracite BMW roof liner. Standard upholstery in a Sensatec/Alcantara trim comes with the base model. Optional Vernasca leather seats, with the visually appealing contrast stitching, are one of many upgrade choices. Optional heads up display will be available for those who prefer it. You can trick out the sound system with a 16 speaker 464 watts Harman Kardon surround sound system if you want the best auditory experience. BMW delivers everywhere, from the curb appeal to the handling, everything about this car lives up to the luxury its name implies
The ultimate in sports sedan greatness, at least until they come out with the next model, the BMW M340i is a fusion of BMWs classic values and their incomparable vision of the future. Driving the latest BMW is always a pleasure, but sitting behind the wheel of a futuristic beast like the M340i and revving the inline six takes you to a whole different world. It’s never been hard to see what keeps BMW on top, they are laser-focused on the future and nearly prescient about what fans are about to want.