Copper Canyon, Mexico is exceptionally beautiful -- a perfect place for the launch drives of the new X1 and the new 340i M Sport xDrive. Located in northern Mexico's Chihuahua state but far from the Gulf of California, the mountainous region is a cool 500-miles from the salty blue water and gorgeous beaches that typically draw tourists south of the border.
So what is the draw? A thousand-year-old mining trail and original indigenous trade route -- one running up from central America and up through similar places in Colorado. Not just copper from these hills, but something much brighter. Gold!
Yes, this gilded alley of giant rock walls, deep valleys and open mineral seams represents a still-functioning part of man's industrialized past and present.
And while most commercial mines today are a cross between horrifyingly dirty and depressingly dirty, older mining areas that have been reclaimed by nature have an unreal stillness. A surreal quality showing nature's constant struggle with man.
The new B58 engine in the 340i for 2016 adds power, torque responsiveness and efficiency over the previous N55 turbo six. Available with or without xDrive AWD, the 340i arrives soon to American showrooms, with pricing from around $42k.
A big round of updates for the BMW 3 series range! The changes bring new LED lighting front and rear, a PHEV model called 330e, and the new 340i badge to replace the 335i.
This 340i update reflects an all-new turbo engine up front. The turbo 3.0-liter inline-six is now dubbed B58 versus the previous N55. The new engine has a just of 20 horsepower up to 320, with a torque mountain of 330-pound-feet coming on from just 1350 RPM. That is one eager motor!
The US range includes a 320, 328i or 328d and new 330e featuring plug-in hybrid technology.
A new eight-speed automatic is standard across the board, but can be swapped for a manual transmission on all trims. Both are excellent. The huge torque from the flagship 340i creates a very compelling M3 alternative paired to the eight-speed auto. Sprint pace is 4.8-seconds for the 34oi rear-drive, and down to 4.6-seconds for the xDrive 340i.
On that M3-style note… the new 3 series also introduces a Track Handling Package with M adaptive suspension, M steering and M brakes in blue.
See all the launch specs and details over at this previous article link.