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2020 BMW M340i revealed ahead of LA Auto Show debut

Here's the scoop on the hotter, six-cylinder version of BMW's new 3 Series.

The 2020 BMW 340i gets a whole host of M Sport performance upgrades.

BMW

We've been pretty excited about the forthcoming, seventh-generation BMW 3 Series ever since our man Steven Ewing hustled a prototype around the Nürburgring earlier this year. BMW showed us the production-spec 330i at the Paris Motor Show this fall, and now we've got the details about the hotter M340i, which will bow at the LA Auto Show later this month.

BMW confirmed Tuesday that the 2020 M340i is powered by a turbocharged, straight-six engine, and will produce a not-insubstantial 382 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. However, because BMW has kicked the 3 Series' manual transmission to the curb, the M340i will only be available with an eight-speed automatic.

That 382 horsepower number sounds good, especially when you consider the new 3 Series is lighter than its predecessor. Like the 330i, the new M340i will be about 120 pounds lighter than the outgoing version, thanks to intensive use of aluminum. BMW also says the 3's body rigidity has increased by 25 percent overall. 

Of course, being a modern Bimmer, the new M340i has all kinds of go-fast tech like an optional adaptive M suspension, fancy M-Sport brakes and an electronically controlled locking M-Sport rear differential. Something new for 2020 is the introduction of what BMW calls lift-related dampers, which are supposed to reduce body movement by adding extra hydraulic damping at the front and limiting shock compression at the rear. Ewing tested these on the 330i prototype and had nothing but good things to say.

BMW plans to unveil pricing for the new M340i and M340i xDrive during the LA Auto Show, and has said that the car should be in dealer showrooms starting in the Summer of 2019.