The last and only M car based on the 1 Series platform and name was the 1M Series Coupe. Since, the 1er Coupe turned into the 2 Series, while the rear-wheel drive 1 Series Hatchback is now a front-wheel drive platform. Even on the previous generation 1 Series Hatch, there were many customers asking for a full-M engineered car, but instead, they got the M140i which was and still is a riot to drive.
According to BMW M product boss Carsten Pries, BMW still doesn’t plan on offering a new 1M or similar model on the F40 generation. Pries hinted to Auto Express that the “M brand needed to target creating performance cars with ‘global’ relevance and proven popular models.” Yet, competitors like the Mercedes-AMG A45 S and Audi RS3 are already on the market or coming up in 2020.
“If you look at the relevance of performance hatchbacks, they are not global things,” explained Pries.
Auto Express asked Pries if BMW could push the M135i further into the competitors’ territory. “If you put something like an ‘M1’ on top of it, working title of course, you would have to increase the price again because you put more substance into it. But whether this would then be a smart business proposition is not something I would answer with an immediate yes”.
For now, BMW will be focusing on their core products for enthusiasts, starting with the M2 Coupe and followed by the M3 and M4, and even the M5.
The 2019 M135i xDrive is still a quite potent car. Using the front-wheel drive architecture from BMW, the new hot hatch is sending power to all four wheels, but this time, from a 2.0 liter four-cylinder turbo engine. This engine is the BMW Group’s most powerful four-cylinder engine, extracting 225 kW (306 hp) between 5,000 and 6,250 rpm and has a peak torque of 450 Nm (332 lb-ft) 1,750 rpm and stays there up to 4,500 rpm. The flagship model races to 100 km/h (62 mph) from rest in just 4.8 seconds (4.7 seconds with M Performance package), while top speed is limited to 250 km/h (155 mph).