BMW M Performance cars were brought out in recent years with a sole purpose in mind: to fill a performance gap in the brand’s line-up. And while for the most part that’s exactly what they achieved, in the case of some models it’s not exactly there yet. I’m referring to the BMW M140i, of course, the one M Performance model that doesn’t have an M version sitting above it in the line-up.
The reason why that’s the case remains a mystery as BMW never told us why the 1 Series in hatchback guise never got a full-on M model. Sure, some have used the M2 as a surrogate but in the end, the M2 is a Coupe and the 1 Series is made up by Hatches, in either 3-door or 5-door guises. Another reason we can think of is the fact that the M140i is fast enough already and can provide plenty of thrills for the average hatchback enthusiast.
That said, the M Performance hatch from BMW is kinda hitting above its weight when it comes to comparing it to its rivals. The Mercedes-AMG A45 is the meanest one out there, with specs that should scare even the best hatches in the automotive world at the moment. On paper, the Merc is considerably faster than the M140i in a straight line. That advantage should also be visible on the track but right now we’re more interested in straight line acceleration.
Since we’re talking about specs, we should mention the A45 AMG comes with a 2-liter 4-cylinder 381 HP engine, all-wheel drive and a 7-speed gearbox. It has a claimed sprint to 100 km/h (62 mph) of 4.1 seconds and a limited top speed of 155 mph. That’s the same top speed the M140i claims but the rear-wheel drive Bimmer arrives at the 62 mph benchmark in 4.6 seconds, thanks to its 340 HP coming out of the straight six mill under the hood. Get it with all-wheel drive and that drops another 0.2 seconds. And the video below will show that the two are a lot closer in real life than what the spec sheet would claim.