And that's a very good thing.
Recently, BMW unveiled the new, refreshed 3 Series. It's a light refresh, with some mild styling updates, as well as some new tech. Notably, that includes BMW's latest version of iDrive: BMW iDrive 8. That brings a much larger, more modern screen to BMW's perennial sports sedan. Speaking of, information on the new BMW M340i has been rather scant until now.
We now have a thorough first look at the newest, fastest 3 Series, M3 notwithstanding. In essence, this one looks to be closer to the BMW M3 than ever, with a few key differences. Notably, that includes xDrive, BMW's AWD system, which is the only way to get the M340i. Rear-drive fast Bimmers will have to wait for the M2 and M3 refreshes. But the M3-ness doesn't stop there. Far from it.
Easily the most M-derived option on the new M340i is the optional carbon fiber roof. Yes, BMW has taken a page from Toyota and brought carbon fiber roofing downstream to the masses. It is, predictably, an option, and not standard fare on the M340i. In Germany, at least, this option will cost $2,988 USD. We expect BMW to charge an even $3K for that lightweight roof. Given the 3er's large sunroof, the new carbon top should take quite a bit of weight off the top of the M340i. Official figures have yet to be named but expect north of 40 lbs.
As you can tell from the look of the thing, that roof isn't the only news here. The M340i also gets updated mirrors, which feature some M3-esque winglets, something usually reserved for full-M models. Paint choices seem to widen if you opt for an M340i, which in this case means BMW Individual Frozen Pure Grey II.
At the front and rear, there's also some badging changes. Notably, BMW's M 50th Anniversary badges sit both fore and aft, and the brand's xDrive badging has been ditched in favor of a cleaner look. Inside, iDrive 8 dominates the cabin, and the M-spec changes become far less noticeable.
When BMW delivers a full catalog of M performance parts, we'll likely find a few more M3-derived bits and pieces, but the fact that a carbon roof and other styling elements are trickling down to regular 3 Series models is cause for celebration, at least among enthusiasts. After all, who wouldn't like to brag about having a carbon fiber roof?