The 2020 BMW M340i features some staggering numbers. Its turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six produces 382 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque, and when graced with the added traction of xDrive all-wheel drive, it'll go from zero to 60 mph in a staggering 4.1 seconds.
Of course, that E46 and E90 delighted their drivers with the noises they made. Spine-tingling stuff. However, turbocharged engines are just quieter than naturally aspirated ones, and with the need/desire/reality of increased sound deadening for refinement purpose, today's BMWs are going to be quieter than their predecessors for better and for worse. To counter this, BMW has baked into its cars something called Active Sound Design. Simply put, it "digitally re-creates the exhaust noise and plays the sound through the car's speakers." Even more simply, they fake it.
You're welcome to debate the merits of this, or lack there of, but that's not why I'm here. Instead, in the video above, I wanted to demonstrate what the M340i sounds like. With Active Sound Design, that meant mounting a microphone inside and outside the car. ASD's sound and volume actually differs by drive mode, so I selected the sauciest Sport Plus and did that 0-60 run twice.
Frankly, it sounds so much better on the outside. Gnarly, angry, crackly ... spine-tingling stuff. Thankfully, however, ASD's "re-creation" sounds natural and not contrived. It's hard to tell how much is fake and how much is real. Have a listen for yourself, though. I tried to tune the levels to be roughly what I was hearing inside the car, so it's pretty accurate if you have headphones on. Enjoy.