F40 BMW 1 Series won’t get any hotter than the M135i

F40 BMW 1 Series won’t get any hotter than the M135i

While BMW continues to populate the model range with more M cars, it looks like models underpinned by the FAAR (Frontantriebsarchitektur) front-wheel drive platform will not be getting a full-blown M variant.

This, according to BMW M president Markus Flasch, is because front-wheel drive is not suitable for high-performance M. The current range-topping 1 Series is the M135i xDrive, which is powered by a boosted B48 2.0 litre four-cylinder engine. It’s the Bavarian company’s most powerful four-cylinder engine, making 306 PS and 450 Nm of torque, enough to send the hatch from 0-100 km/h in 4.8 seconds.

But that’s as far as the company will go with the 1 Series. On paper, the M135i xDrive goes toe to toe against established hot hatches such as the Mk 7.5 Volkswagen Golf R, FK8 Honda Civic Type R, and the new W177 Mercedes-AMG A 35 4Matic. BMW will not have a direct rival to the A 45 4Matic mega hatch.

Flasch’s reasoning behind this is purely due to mechanical limitations. As it is, the M135i xDrive, which has its engine mounted transversely, offers more than enough performance for the daily driver. However, the engine is positioned on the far right of the engine bay, which may be the reason why it suffers from torque steer.

Those who want a more potent machine can look to the M2 Coupe, which Flasch described as a natural step up in the M family of cars. “The BMW M2 is the purest M car available, and the upcoming M2 CS will be the most focused iteration of the car yet,” Flasch said.

Meanwhile, the third-generation 1 Series is tipped to get an all-electric version, possibly called the i1. According to BMW i boss Rovert Irlinger, the flexibility of the FAAR platform makes it possible for BMW to develop a full electric version of the hatch. The most affordable 1 Series EV will be fitted with a single motor powering the front wheels, although a more potent dual-motor AWD model will be available as well.

Design-wise, the electric 1 Series will look similar to its ICE-powered counterparts, but with several unique styling touches to such as a blanked-off front grille, dedicated badging and brighter colour palette to help it stand out. Over to you – do you think BMW should make a hotter 1 Series to take on the A 45?

GALLERY: F40 BMW M135i xDrive

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Matthew H Tong

An ardent believer that fun cars need not be fast and fast cars may not always be fun. Matt advocates the purity and simplicity of manually swapping cogs while coping in silence of its impending doom. Matt's not hot. Never hot.

 

Comments

  • Well good, bcs it will ruin the reputation of the entire m lineup

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • granny on Oct 29, 2019 at 1:06 pm

    No matter how effort-ly modernized is the BMW design language – the ‘Timeless’ uncle looks still doesnt fit a Hot Hatch/1 Series.

    Otherwise, the cheaper BMW should sell better than 3 series.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4
  • seancorr (Member) on Oct 29, 2019 at 1:10 pm

    Never say never. BMW always like to U turn on their decisions

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3
 

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