Right now, BMW’s hottest car is the M3 Touring and for good reason. It’s the first ever M3 wagon, something fans have wanted for decades, and it’s every bit as excellent as we all hoped it would be. However, it is a bit difficult to get your hands one. For starts, it’s very expensive, with well-equipped examples nearing six-figures. It’s also quite hard to get an allocation for, so even fans that can afford one will struggle to get one. But what if you don’t want to wait, nor spend that much money? Well, there’s always the BMW M340i Touring, which can be every bit as fast as the M3 Touring with a simple tune, as proven by this video from AutoTopNL.
This has been the age-old dilemma—do you buy the more expensive sports car, or tune the less expensive normal car? In the case of the BMW M340i Touring, though, it’s a bit different because while it’s technically a normal car (don’t let its “M” badge fool you, it’s about as much of a proper M car as a BMW Isetta), it’s already so good to drive. And its engine, the B58 engine, is not only the basis of the M3’s S58 engine, it’s arguably just as good. It’s also immensely tunable.
For example, the standard B58 engine—a 3.0-liter turbocharged I6—makes 382 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque from the factory. However, simple tunes can easily make it more powerful, just like the one in this video that makes 460 horsepower. That’s not as much as the M3 Touring, which has 503 horsepower, but it’s not far off the 473 horsepower of the standard M3. However, because the M340i Touring is available with all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic gearbox, it’s faster than the rear-wheel drive, manual transmission standard M3.
Of course, the M340i Touring won’t be as sharp, as exciting, or quite as fast as an M3 Touring. However, in this video, it proves that it can pretty easily cruise on the Autobahn at 290 km/h (181 mph), which is about the top speed of the M3 Touring. Plus, if you need more than a 181 mph top speed, you’re either racing for money or you’re fit for a straight jacket. The M340i Touring is tens of thousands of euros (or British pounds) cheaper than the M3 Touring, so even after a tune it’s significantly less expensive. All while still handling well, being just as practical, looking better, riding more comfortably. So if you can’t get an M3 Touring, that doesn’t mean you can’t get an incredible performance wagon from BMW.