Driven - December 2016

BMW 340i with the PPK pack

BMW 340i  Driven Review

Motorist Digital Magazine – Edition 08

When we first started our online magazine, we first did a section “Modded Monday”. This article is the same, but different.

Throughout the year we have sampled BMW’s fantastic 340i and love it.  It had the right power, the right feel of comfort and overall a brilliant vehicle for everyday use.  Now, we get to sample the car again, except this one is slightly modded.  BMW South Africa now offer a sound and power kit for the vehicle, which now has a new B58 inline 6-cyclinder motor and can be operated on, from your local dealer. Power jumps up from 240kw to 265kw and torque from 450nm to 500nm.  Now this doesn’t sound like much, but in the real world, it goes from a very fast and capable 340i to “do I really need an M3.”  Now before you fall off your chair, and rush to the comments section, hear me out…

The M3 is a fantastic, in fact, an iconic vehicle.  For road use every day the car does become challenging.  It doesn’t like being driven slowly; it urges you to explore the rev range and basically wants to get you arrested in every short burst.  The 340i with the PPK kit is just easier to live with on a daily basis. Yes, it still does 0-100 in +/- 4.7 seconds, but with its suspension setup and slightly less aggressive temper, I find myself wondering if this is not the perfect sedan in this guise.

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What got me thinking about this was the actual noise from the new M performance back silencer, yes this is from the standard PPK kit.  The noise is addictive and holding the vehicle in over run at just before 4 000rpm gives off a snap, crackle, and pop from the exhaust tips that’s sure to give your neighbours something to talk about at their weekly neighbourhood watch meeting.  I even got a message from my body corporate for “incessant revving”.  Standard feature on the PPK kit. The best one in my opinion.

In a world where most people want more performance, more sound and more kilowatts, BMW South Africa now offer something for the petrol heads who haven’t made the mental jump to spend over a million rand on their daily commuter. It’s the perfect midsize sedan with enough performance only to leave a car length between itself and its older brother, the M3 Sedan.  This was proved in a safe environment on Rivonia Road late at night.

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Pricing on the power and sound kit on the 340i is R 53 000 incl. VAT for the system with the carbon fibre exhaust tips and R 48 000 incl. VAT for the chrome tips and the kind people at Club Motors Randburg BMW very generously waivered the fitment charges of this fantastic system.  Question is, will this be an optional extra from the standard ordering guide as it should be?!