A few days ago, we noticed that there was a bit of a gap in the new BMW 1 Series lineup, when comparing it to its competitors. More specifically, it was missing a model at the top of its range that both of its competitors have. The most high-performance 1 Series you’ll see from the brand is the BMW M135i, which competes with the Audi S3 and AMG A35. Both Audi and AMG have even hotter versions of their small hatchbacks, so we wondered if BMW would follow suit. Apparently not.
BMW 1 Series spokesperson Florian Moser recently spoke with Car Advice and said that the BMW M135i will be the hottest 1 Series variant. “Our competitors are the A35 and S3, they’re our target, We have the M2 Competition for more. We see no need in the hatch [for more], since the global take-up rate us around 5 per cent, so it’s not the core of our group. At the moment that’s our strategy,” siad Moser.
That’s likely the wise decision, as he’s correct in that uber-hot hatches from Audi and AMG — the Audi RS3 and AMG A45 S, respectively — aren’t huge sellers. So developing something specific to take them on is probably unwise. BMW M has also shown its reluctance to work with front-wheel drive-based chassis, even though the car would be all-wheel drive. It’s just not the brand’s preferred pint of beer.
While it makes sense that the M Division would want to stay away from such a car at the moment, it’s almost disappointing. Not that we’re hoping for more front-wheel drive-based M cars but it would be very interesting to see what the folks in Garching could come up with. But it’s likely for the best to leave the hot-hatch segment as it is and leave the very high performance customers with cars like the M2 Competition.