The BMW 3 Series can be described as a near-luxury model. It comes as a sedan, coupe, and convertible. Since its first launch with the 1977 model year, the iconic 3 Series has gone through 6 generations of production. Today, we’re going to compare 2 of the BMW 3 Series models – the BMW 335i and the BMW 340i. The new BMW 3-series 340i’s mid-cycle updates have made a good vehicle a little better than the previous BMW 3-series 335i. Knowing its performance-rrecord, we can’t help but showcase the defining characteristics.
The biggest differentiator from the BMW 335i Gran Turismo is the new engine. The company’s new 3.0-liter inline six engine, internally called the B58 replaces the outgoing N55 engine from the BMW 335i. With the engine change, the BMW 3-series model name changes from BMW 335i to BMW 340i xDrive Gran Turismo. Though similar in format, the new B58 belongs to BMW’s portfolio of modular-build engines. The modular engines stretch from 3 to 6 cylinders and encompass both diesel and gasoline engines. In fact, it’s a new 3.0-liter turbo with more power, and torque. The the B58 produces 320 horsepower, a 20 hp improvement over the outgoing 335i model. Peak torque is an impressive 330-lb-ft of torque (30 more than the previous model).
The turbocharger is a TwinPower twin scroll, part of BMW’s “EfficientDynamics” family, and manages to be both dramatic and discrete at the same time: a whole lot of extra grunt, but practically zero turbo lag. It’s hooked up to an optional (unflappable) 8-speed automatic gearbox, which can make the new 3-series Gran Turismo go hilariously, stupendously quickly. Paired with a 6-speed-manual, the B58 shaved a few-tenths off the 0-to-60 mph-time of the manual 335i model, returning a 4.8 second dash. This makes the BMW 340i model the fastest 3-series that money can buy, short of the all out M3.
The refinements to-the 340i’s chassis are slightly more modest. They include retuned rear dampers, stiffer front struts, and new programming for-the electrically-assisted steering. The results are-fairly incremental: The ride’s a bit more composed. Improved body-control makes for steadier, flatter cornering. Thankfully, the 340i Gran Turismo bounds better than the last car model. The electric power steering and revised suspension geometry make the 340i come alive where the 335i was numb and removed. The handling improvements combined with the new engine make the 340i model distinctly more fun on a back-road than its predecessor.
Other 340i model upgrades over the 335i are the re-designed headlights with optional full LED lighting, running lights, and turn signals which are standard. The rear has a new bumper, with sharper and more dynamic LED taillights. The rear-end also gets more sculpted, with clearly defined lines. On the 340i Gran Turismo, LED headlights, running lights and turn signals are standard and the rear has a new bumper and LED lights. The rest of-the changes include subtle fascia & lighting touches as well as various new trim-pieces throughout the cabin. BMW has also changed around lots of the option packages. A Track Handling package is currently on the option sheet. Automatic high beams and adaptive LED headlights are new options. Besides, adaptive LED headlights and automatic high beams are new options as well.
While there is a marginal increase in prices on 4-cylinder models, the 340i Gran Turismo costs about 2-grand more than the 2015 BMW 335i Gran Turismo, at $46,795 to start. The outgoing 2015 BMW 335i, was priced at $43,750.