For a long time BMW and Mercedes have been trading blows using their Motorsport and AMG divisions, respectively. While usually these battles had precise rivals going head to head, now that both manufacturers are diversifying their offerings, things are getting a bit more complicated. BMW is now putting out more M Performance models than ever, looking to fill a gap between ‘normal’ cars and full M models while Mercedes has a similar approach with the AMG cars that don’t have the numbers 6 and 3 in their nameplates.
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However, not all models follow this recipe. In the case of the 3 Series range, for example, we’re currently lacking an M Performance model that would naturally take on the C43 AMG. Instead, the top gun in the 3 Series range, the 340i takes up this position and, judging by the video posted below, it can do so with ease. On paper the two are considerably apart in terms of performance but in real life, as we’re about to see, they aren’t so far off at all.
The BMW uses a straight six 3-liter new-age engine turbocharged to make 326 HP and 450 Nm (332 lb-ft) of torque. On the other hand, the Merc uses a turbo V6 of the same size, making 367 HP and 520 Nm (384 lb-ft) of torque. At the same time though, the BMW is considerably lighter than the Merc, the latter tipping the scale at 1,690 kg (3,725 lbs) while the Bimmer weighs just 1,540 kg (3,395 lbs).
Furthermore, the launch plays to the advantage of the Merc, as its standard 4Matic all-wheel drive system allows it to reach 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.7 seconds compared to the 5.1 seconds claimed by the BMW. However, as it is rather clearly shown in the footage below, the BMW manages to catch up towards the end. Considering the power difference between these two, we can’t wait to see how the upcoming M340i will fare against the C43 AMG in the future, since it is bound to have around 360 HP as well when it is launched along with the new G20 3 Series.