The current M140i is more of an Audi S3 Sportback challenger but that’s about to change, as the Bavarian car brand has an entirely new model in development.
Performance wise, it will be on par with the Mercedes-AMG and Audi Sport models. Thus, expect a 0 to 100 km/h (0-62 mph) sprint time of approximately 4 seconds and a top speed electronically capped at 250 km/h (155 mph), or 270 km/h (168 mph) with the electronic limiter removed.
Both the RS3 Sportback and A45 are underpinned by front-wheel drive-biased platforms, and the new M140i will follow the same route. That’s because BMW will use the UKL2 architecture used in the X1, X2 and 2-Series Active and Grand Tourers for its next 1-Series, which for the first time ever will adopt front- instead of rear-wheel drive.
However, just like its arch rivals, the M140i will benefit from an M-tuned xDrive all-wheel drive system to cope with all that power. It will also sport a beefed up body kit, which is still not visible in the latest spy video due to the heavy camouflage of the prototype, a lower ground clearance and large wheels.
While the M140i, which is expected either later this year or early next year, goes up a level in terms of performance, BMW plans to fill its place with a new model, That could be named the M130iX and use a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-banger with approximately 300 horses and, probably, all-wheel drive.