As this current-generation of BMW 1 Series fades away, fans are mourning its eventual loss. This current 1 Series is the last of its kind, as its rear-wheel drive layout will be replaced by a front-wheel drive one with the next generation. That has fans upset, especially over the loss of the BMW M140i, the hot-hatch M Performance variant. The M140i is currently the only rear-driven hot-hatch on the market, so it holds a special place in the hearts of enthusiasts. Though, if it’s any consolation to BMW fans, the M140i won’t be the last M Performance 1 Series, as we’re hearing that a BMW M130i xDrive could replace it in the future.

According to this new report from Autocar, the next-generation of 1 Series will have its own M Performance variant. This is likely to keep up with its German competitors, such as the Audi S3, VW Golf R and Mercedes-AMG A35.

While the idea of a sporty, faster version of a front-wheel drive hatchback might not be that exciting to most BMW fans, they should at least give it a chance to prove itself. Some of the most fun and engaging cars on the road today are front-wheel drive hatchbacks, such as the VW GTI, Ford Fiesta ST and the Audi S3 Sportback. So don’t knock it until you try it. Plus, if this report is correct, the little BMW M130i xDrive sounds like it could be a proper riot.

The BMW M130i xDrive will be lighter, lower and more nimble than the standard 1 Series variants. It will also be xDrive all-wheel drive only, so fret not about its front-wheel drive nature. Under its hood will lie a 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, likely a tuned B46, that will make around 300 hp. There’s no word on transmission options but it’s possible that it could get a six-speed manual as-standard with the brand’s new seven-speed dual-clutch that it uses in some new MINIs. It could also get the familiar Aisin-sourced eight-speed automatic, featured in the BMW X2.

Sure, a front-wheel drive-based hatchback with a turbo-four isn’t as exciting as a rear-wheel drive hot-hatch with a stonking turbocharged I6. However, a BMW hatchback with 300 hp, all-wheel drive and, possibly, a manual transmission sounds like a pretty fun car to us. It may not be as thrilling as the old M140i but we’re willing to give this new BMW M130i xDrive a fair shake.

[Source: Autocar]