We’ve gotten used to the idea of a front-wheel-drive 1 Series with four-cylinder engines but there was a glorious time when the compact hatch sat on a rear-wheel-drive-based platform and had an inline-six. This M140i is among the last to be built in 2019 before BMW called time on the second-generation 1er. The video attached at the bottom depicts the more practical five-door model (F20) in RWD flavor (xDrive was also offered) being pushed hard on the Autobahn.

BMW did sell the M140i with a six-speed manual gearbox but with this being a late example, it has the ZF eight-speed automatic torque converter. Some of you remember the German luxury brand pulled the plug on the three-pedal version at some point in 2018 or roughly a year before this generation was retired. While the M135i version had an N55 engine, the facelifted 1er in M Performance guise transitioned to the more potent B58 engine.

Years later, the inline-six still sounds positively glorious, especially since in 2023 it’s all about gasoline particulate filters and other systems to cut emissions and indirectly make engines sound bland. We can see the M140i being taken to the maximum on an unrestricted section of the German highway, using the whole speedometer by hitting almost 260 km/h (162 mph).

With 335 hp and 500 Nm (369 lb-ft) on tap, the M140i still packs more punch than the M135i xDrive available today with its smaller B48, a four-cylinder 2.0-liter engine. While the 1 Series in its highest state of tune has lost its inline-six oomph, we should just be thankful the M240i and M2 are still rocking 3.0-liter engines.

As to what the future has in tow for BMW’s smallest performance car, the next-generation 1 Series is coming in 2024 when we’re also expecting to see the new M135i, complete with a quad exhaust system. Having just debuted the X1 M35i, logic tells us the next hot hatch will utilize the same 2.0-liter turbo engine with 296 hp in Europe and 312 hp in other markets. The difference stems from stricter emissions regulations in the EU, which are forcing the automaker to dial down the output of the four-pot. Thankfully, torque isn’t impacted as you get 295 lb-ft (400 Nm) with the X1 M35i regardless of the region.

Source: AutoTopNL / YouTube