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LA preview: 2020 BMW M340i

It's the most powerful non-M 3 Series ever.

BMW will unveil the M340i variant of the all-new 2020 3 Series at the upcoming Los Angeles auto show. The company has introduced the model online ahead of its public debut.

The Munich-based firm hails the M340i as the most powerful non-M-tuned 3 Series it has ever released. Power comes from a 3.0-liter straight-six engine turbocharged to deliver 382 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. Rear-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission come standard, there's no manual transmission option, and buyers can select BMW's xDrive all-wheel drive system at an extra cost.

Like the standard 3 Series, the M340i weighs less than its predecessor thanks to the widespread use of aluminum, and it benefits from a near-50:50 weight distribution. Suspension, steering, and brake components tuned by M help drivers make the most of the six's cavalry. BMW wants to reclaim its crown as the purveyor of the ultimate driving machine, and the M340i is a key part of its offensive.

The M340i comes standard with a 12.3-inch configurable screen that replaces the instrument cluster and a 10.2-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system. Navigation and Apple CarPlay compatibility both come standard; BMW continues to resist Android Auto, however. The list of standard features also includes leather-upholstered sport seats and a glass roof. Ambient lighting is found on the list of extra-cost options.

The 2020 BMW M340i will reach showrooms in the summer of 2019. Pricing information will be announced in the weeks leading up to its on-sale date. When it lands, it will compete in the same segment as the 354-horsepower Audi S4 and the 390-horsepower Mercedes-AMG C43.

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