BMW M140i could move upmarket, take on Audi RS3

1-series, News | September 1st, 2018 by 37
2019 bmw m140i successor 121905 1 830x405

At the moment, the current BMW M140i, a fan favorite among BMW enthusiasts, is a great little sports car but it’s isn’t a proper performance …

At the moment, the current BMW M140i, a fan favorite among BMW enthusiasts, is a great little sports car but it’s isn’t a proper performance car. Sure, its 340 hp from its 3.0 liter turbocharged inline-six helps it get from 0-60 mph in about 4.5 seconds and that’s quick. But it’s more Audi S3 quick, rather than Audi RS3 quick. There’s word, though, that BMW wants to push the M140i upmarket in terms of performance and have it take on the faster Audi.

The Audi RS3 is the primary target apparently, which is more powerful and quite a lot faster than the current M140i. With a 2.5 liter turbocharged five-cylinder, the RS3 makes 400 hp and gets to 60 mph in about 3.7 seconds. So it’s a little rocket ship.

Audi RS3 Sportback  830x553


Now, BMW might have a hard time reaching that with the M140i, which is why this move upmarket might not happen. The reason that’s tough for BMW is the layout of the M140i. It’s going to be front-wheel drive-based this time, likely with all-wheel drive as-standard, so that means BMW needs to use a transverse engine layout, rather than its typical longitudinal layout. The only engines BMW has that are compatible with this chassis layout are little turbo three and four cylinders.

We’ve heard that the next BMW M140i will use a 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder, likely a tuned version of the B48 engine in most current Bimmers, which will make around 300 hp. That’s not enough to take on the 400 hp rocket-sled that is the RS3. So we’re not so sure BMW will be able to tune that engine up to make enough power to break into the three-second range to 60 mph.

2019 bmw m140i successor 4

If the new car is significantly lighter than the old one and can push around 350 hp, with all-wheel drive, it should be able to be faster than the old car. But faster than the RS3 or even the Mercedes-AMG A45? That’s a tough one.

[Source: Car Scoops]

37 responses to “BMW M140i could move upmarket, take on Audi RS3”

  1. M. says:

    And then the magic happens: the addition of an electric motor. A little bomb.

    • Woz says:

      That magic could be 200kg heavier like the 330e is from 320i (both have the same engine). Unless you want a quick hatch in a straight line, then it’s not an issue.

  2. Kaisuke971 says:

    It’d be a weird positionning in the lineup, but then again the 7 Series tops out with a 612hp V12 while the « Flagship » 8 Series « only » does with a 530hp V8. So why not, i guess…

  3. seancorr says:

    Can BMW crank 400hp from a 2.0 engine like what AMG will do with the upcoming A45?

    • I guess it’s possible but it’s not what we’re hearing. We’ve heard about 300 or a bit more hp, not 400. Though, we’d love to see BMW do that. A boosty little turbo-four, just like Audi’s turbo-five, would be awesome.

      • Kaisuke971 says:

        It’d be cool to go at the FWD hot hatches like the Mégane RS or the Civic Type R, to show that an FWD BMW can be a really good performance car too

        • disqus_gMkqrHMwOa says:

          They’ve been doing MINI for over a decade.

          • Kaisuke971 says:

            MINIs are pretty cool but the JCW Hatch hasn’t quite reached that sort of magnitude yet, and it’s not because it’s a segment below. It sounds good, looks quirky, goes pretty fast (and even in all of this the Yaris GRMN got it beaten) but in terms of driving dynamics it’s not the leader a BMW should be.

            They still have to prove that they can, IF they can.

          • disqus_gMkqrHMwOa says:

            MINI were going under when BMW not only salvaged them but turned them into a $5 billion global brand that inspired Fiat to revive the 500. If Yaris is the benchmark why did its manufacturer turn to BMW to revive the Supra? And the 300 hp. JCW doesn’t exist. Yet.

          • Kaisuke971 says:

            The crowd that cares about how well the BMW Group is doing financially doesn’t even know what a Yaris GRMN is while the crowd that loves the Yaris GRMN doesn’t have much business knowing about how BMW is doing from a financial standpoint (other than them no being bankrupt, of course). But the first crowd pushes BMW to build FWD cars, while the second hates them. And it’s the second that buys M cars… And they have to prove it to them. To us, to me.

          • disqus_gMkqrHMwOa says:

            Since Yaris is built by Toyota & BMW engineered new Supra you are making absolutely no sense whatsoever.

          • Kaisuke971 says:

            Toyota didn’t do a partnership because they couldn’t build the Supra, they have the LC500 RC F LC F… Just like they didn’t need Subaru for the GT86. They did it because it made sense financially for both of them

      • disqus_gMkqrHMwOa says:

        The new Z4 I6 doesn’t have 400 hp., would BMW upset their own apple cart?

      • recursiveiterator says:

        This is the same kind of wishful thinking that predicted a lightweight F87 with a highly boosted I4.

        Realistically, we all know BMW just doesn’t do things like these.

  4. Hans Wurst says:

    I don’t see the M140i in competition with an RS3 or A45. Isn’t it more the battlefield for the M2?

    • disqus_gMkqrHMwOa says:

      If the new M2 continues to be rwd. coupe, very different segments.

      • Hans Wurst says:

        Different – yes. But very different? No. If you want to see it that way, what Audi or MB is to compare with an M2? There is none.

        • disqus_gMkqrHMwOa says:

          That’s part of its importance & why I hope it doesn’t change 2nd. gen. One of our local papers just suggested it’s the best performance car available under 6 figures. I hope the 1 Series brings something new to the market & BMW.

  5. Marcel Lukačić-Marca says:

    So basically BMW wants to make M140i bonkers fast, but not fun.

  6. Dailybimmer says:

    RWD and laptimes are the past. Drag races and all wheel drive belongs the future.

  7. Daniel Moses says:

    There is then already a M140i xdrive so why not keep that model and make it the halo one and take on the A45 and RS3

  8. Daniel Moses says:

    The new B58 motor is an excellent one and I think it’s gonna be in the next X3M and G20 M3/M4 and the M140i is faster than the current M2 in a straight line drag so just make that a new M car like RS3 and A45 and keep the M2 a coupe and rear wheel drive

  9. recursiveiterator says:

    M135i xDrive. Not M140i.

  10. Olivier Reichling says:

    It might be a surprise for some of your readers but on the domestic range speed from 80 to 160kmh the M 140i is easter than the RS3. One should stop with the stupid figure le 0 To 100kmh

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