BMW M340i Touring v Audi RS4 Avant
Further proof that BMW’s B58 model is an absolute peach
With 331kw and 600nm, the twin-turbocharged Audi RS4 trumps the BMW M340i Touring in terms of sheer grunt. Thanks to its 2.9-litre V6 and a Quattro all-wheel-drive system, the 1,750kg wagon can sprint from 0-100kph in just 4.1 seconds, and can run to a top speed of 280kph. In other words, aside from being a true RS-car, it is also seriously rapid!
BMW’s new M340i isn’t an M-car. It’s an M Performance car. Meaning, its merely a hotted-up version of a normal sedan, and it sits below the M3 or so in BMW’s performance hierarchy. Much the same how Audi’s S-Line cars are to its full-fat RS offerings, i.e. S4 and RS4.
So in this Carwow test, it is universally expected that the RS4 Avant wipes the floor with the less powerful M340i. But this M340i has something special under its taut skin. It is all-wheel-drive like the RS4, as it features BMW’s equivalent of Quattro, dubbed xDrive; and it has the latest B58 under its shapely hood.
The B58 is, of course, a detuned version of the S58 engine, which will power the upcoming M3 and M4. However, while that is a twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre inline-six, the B58 is a 3.0-litre inline-six with a single turbo. It still produces an impressive 285kw and 500nm, compared to the G80 M3’s 353kw output. And thanks to its xDrive system, the M340i will do 0-100kph in a claimed 4.5 seconds.
But, as we all know, claimed performance is very different from real-world performance. So how will these two performance wagons fare? Click play to find out.
It should be noted that while BMW South Africa has no plans to launch the touring derivative of the 3 Series, Audi meanwhile will launch the updated version of the RS4 Avant in the coming months. The B58-engined G20 M340i xDrive will continue solely as a saloon and is priced from R1 090 616.