Watch the upcoming BMW 340i xDrive race a BMW M2 Competition in drag and rolling races.
We don’t normally get to see cars drag race before they even go on sale, but through some form of witchcraft, Carwow managed to get a pre-production version of the M340i xDrive from BMW to race against an M2 Competition.
The redesigned M340i is the seventh generation of BMW’s 3-series compact coupes and launches sometime this spring. Under the hood is a 3.0-L turbocharged inline 6-cylinder engine with 382 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. Power is routed to all wheels all the time thanks to an 8-speed automatic transmission.
Zero to sixty is done in 4.5 seconds. We don’t have top speed figures yet, but like other M cars, it’s probably limited to 155 mph unless you get the M Driver’s package.
On the other side of the track is the BMW M2 Competition. This one just hit dealers last July and comes with the same 3.0-L engine as in the M340i, but with two turbochargers instead of one. This boosts power to 405 horses and torque to 406 lb-ft. A 7-speed dual-clutch or 6-speed manual routes power to the rear wheels only, with the dual-clutch getting to sixty from zero in 4.2 seconds and the manual in 4.4 seconds.
This one is the manual version of the M2, which will prove crucial in the upcoming race.
While the M2 gets off the line a little quicker than the M3, you can see the car shudder as it struggles to shift gears. This might be improved by swapping the driver, but it otherwise allows the less powerful M340i to close the gap. By the time they reach the finish line, it’s a photo finish at 12.6 seconds for both of them.
Things a little different in the rolling race. Since the M2 doesn’t have to shift as many gears when starting from 50 mph, the M2’s superior power handily crushes the M340i.
The moral of the story: get a dual-clutch. Manuals might be cool, but they’re not fast.