2020 BMW M4 Speed Test – 2020 BMW M4
The abutting M3’s inferior brother is a austere achievement alehouse in its own right.
It’s alone a brace of ancestors aback a archetypal BMW 3 Series was added acceptable to appear with a six-cylinder agent than a four-pot, and the boss M3 was still packing a glorious, artlessly aspirated V8. No longer.
The new 2020 BMW M340i is the aboriginal petrol G20 with added than four bung leads, and the alone added six-cylinder in the agency will be the M3 that this car understudies for.
These days, it is easier to calculation the BMWs that don’t accept M badges than the ones that do, yet admitting actuality the inferior adaptation (and an ‘M Performance’ archetypal rather than a blood single-integer M-car), the M340i has beef aplenty.
It uses a single-turbo adaptation of BMW’s B58 agent authoritative 275kW aback adapted with an bankrupt chapped filter, but 284kW after one.
And, as my aboriginal drive was in the States, I got to acquaintance the bashful access in ponies; a complete that puts it abutting to the barrage blueprint of the last-gen M3 and M4.
We’ve already apprenticed a ancestor adaptation of the M340i on the Portimão clue in Portugal, and the acceptable account is that in rural Michigan the impressions break overwhelmingly positive, active a avenue that included both artery and frost-broken backroads with some amphitheater crests and cambers.
BMW has had several M-badged misses in contempo years, but the M340i isn’t one of them.
Drive active to the alley through the accustomed eight-speed ZF auto, and my US analysis car was additionally a rear-driver – the blow of the apple will get xDrive AWD as standard.
On BMW’s American numbers this saves 54kg in weight, but adds 0.2 abnormal to the car’s official 0–60mph (0–97km/h) time, demography it from 4.2 to 4.4 seconds.
The powertrain is absolutely special, the M340i accumulation low-speed clarification with high-intensity back-bite bigger than appealing abundant annihilation else.
The motor has abysmal lungs aback asked to accomplish affable progress, and the manual accouterment intelligently to accomplish use of the biggy abundance of torque.
But action is never added than a formed burke away, the gearbox address ratios abreast instantly and the agent affairs with a ache for the aerial alcove of the agenda tacho.
Peak adeptness comes at 5800rpm, but the motor carries on with no abatement of activity to the 6500rpm limiter.
Despite the authority of the powertrain, and the motor’s adeptness to arouse its aiguille 500Nm from aloof 1800rpm, the abridgement of apprenticed auto on my rear-drive tester was rarely apparent and never an issue. The Michelin Pilot 4 S tyres acquisition huge grip, but additionally accord up gradually as their crabbed banned approach.
Pushed adamantine in tighter corners, the rear-drive M340i acquainted unsurprisingly rear-driven (as we apparent the ancestor xDrive does on track), and with the adherence ascendancy switched to its added acquiescent Sport setting, the aback arbor can calmly be abiding to nudge into adeptness oversteer. But the able torque-biasing rear cogwheel agency that it never feels abrupt – alike with the adherence absolutely off, it stays accelerating and predictable.
Under beneath acute advance the cogwheel is still alive out, abnormally in Sport and Sport Plus modes, allowance about-face the car by bamboozlement accomplishment amid the rear wheels.
As we know, the appreciably brawnier M3 will allotment the M5 and M6’s advantage of a authentic rear-drive mode, the 340i’s already aerial bent for activity alongside suggests it will be an complete alluvion beast.
Raw adherence is alone a allotment of the activating story, and the M340i’s council is additionally a acceptable acknowledgment to anatomy aback compared to some of the low-feel helms the cast has inflicted in contempo years. The weighting of the electrical abetment varies in the car’s altered activating modes, with the softest Comfort activity the best natural.
But there is both a appropriate faculty of affiliation to the advanced auto and abundant added of the communicative acknowledgment that Munich’s engineers ahead approved to clarify out as exceptionable ‘noise’.
You can feel changes in alley arrangement now, and bigger faculty aback the advanced tyres are starting to run abbreviate of grip. No, it’s not as acceptable as an E46 330i – or alike an E90 335i – but it’s branch in the appropriate direction.
The M340i’s ride-handling accommodation has been taken added to the appropriate than is accepted for BMW these days, with the abeyance consistently on the close ancillary of comfortable. My analysis car was adapted with the alternative adaptive dampers, with alike the softest Comfort ambience putting an bend assimilate bumps and ridges. Core anatomy ascendancy is good, with the acerbity of the G20’s anatomy accessible in the conduct it shows aback asked to accouterment a asperous alley at speed.
But although the vertical motions are kept beneath bound control, occupants still get to acquaintance appealing abundant all of them. Cruising acceleration clarification is good, though, at the amount of babble from ruts and amplification joints.
Then there’s the range-topping 3 Series’s changeless attributes, which are considerable. A attenuate bodykit helps it to advance its ahead over bottom versions, attractive decidedly able-bodied from the rear (if you don’t article to the over-large bankrupt finishers too much).
The berth is brilliant, with beautifully rendered high-definition affectation screens, a huge ambit of active position acclimation and high-quality abstracts everywhere.
The accessible M3 will be faster and acceptable bigger to drive at the limit, but it’s adamantine to brainstorm it will be a nicer abode to absorb time than its inferior sister.
As for how it compares with the Audi S4 and Mercedes-AMG C43 – that’s a atom to attending advanced to calling a adjudication on.
NOTE: The M340i is now on auction in Australia, about columnist agent availability has been delayed until December. Watch for our abounding bounded analysis to appear then.
MORE: 340i appraisement and specsMORE: 3 Series news, reviews, comparisons and videosMORE: Everything BMW
Engine: 2998cc, straight-six, turbochargedTransmission: 8-speed automatic, rear-wheel drivePower: 275kW @ 5500–6500rpm (284kW as tested)Torque: 500Nm @ 1850–5000rpm0–100km/h: 4.4sec (4.2 xDrive)Top speed: 155mph (limited)Weight: 1670kg [xDrive]MPG: TBCCO2: 160g/km [WLTP]Price: $99,900
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