The BMW M135i will be replaced by a more potent M140i version that offers a power output closer to the Ford Focus RS hyper hatchback.
The 2017 M140i’s 3.0-litre straight-six produces an extra 14bhp and 37lb/ft of torque, taking the respective totals to 335bhp (340hp) and 369lb/ft (500Nm) for the top-spec 1 Series.
That’s 10bhp shy of the new Focus RS, but the M140i promises even brisker acceleration. Go for the eight-speed flappy paddle automatic and 0-62mph takes 4.6 seconds, making it two-tenths faster than the Focus RS and three-tenths faster than the outgoing M135i.
With the six-speed manual, 0-62mph is 4.8 seconds, while the top speed is electronically limited to 155mph for both the auto and manual. Fuel economy, meanwhile, is said to be up to 39.8mpg if you drive with godly efficiency and CO2 is up to 179g/km.
As hot hatchbacks go, the M135i was one of the best to drive because all power goes to the rear wheels. There’s no electric trickery, just rear-wheel drive shenanigans, and it is the same story for the M140i.
The M140i is, however, available with xDrive all-wheel drive if you want more traction and an even lower 0-62mph time of 4.4 seconds. Sadly it is not an option for UK customers, at least not yet anyway, which is odd given Blighty’s penchant for rain.
A six-speed manual gearbox is standard on the M140i, as are 18-inch M-branded alloy wheels, more aggressive M bodystyling and a 10mm lower ride height compared with other 1-Series offerings.
BMW has also introduced the M240i Coupe and Convertible, the M235i’s successor. 0-62mph takes 4.6 seconds with the auto box and fuel economy is the same as the M140i, except in the case of the heavier Convertible, which offers 38.2mpg. CO2 emissions come in at up to 189g/km.
The M140i starts from £31,875, M240i Coupe from £35,090 and the M240i Convertible from £38,535. All models are available now from retailers, with production starting in July 2016.