Sweet Dream

Why BMW should – and how they could – bring back the 1M

Motor (Australia) - - CONTENTS -

IN­EX­PLI­CA­BLY, BMW’s M140i hatch doesn’t sell amaz­ingly well. It does okay, but not as well as a prac­ti­cal five-door hatch pack­ing rear-wheel drive and a 250kW/500Nm 3.0-litre tur­bocharged six prob­a­bly de­serves to. It’s a crack­ing car.

BMW has re­cently cut its price to just $59,990 in an at­tempt to lure buy­ers, but per­haps that’s the wrong ap­proach? Per­haps what it needs to do is make it much more ex­pen­sive and a lot an­grier. Af­ter all, its M-ified two-door sib­ling, the M2, is fly­ing out of show­rooms, BMW Aus­tralia hav­ing to beg for more lo­cal al­lo­ca­tion twice since its April 2016 launch.

Giv­ing the 1 Se­ries the M treat­ment would not only make it a more able com­peti­tor for the likes of the Audi RS3 and MercedesAMG A45, but it would pro­vide a fit­ting farewell for the rear-drive hot hatch, as the next-gen­er­a­tion 1 Se­ries is ex­pected to adopt fron­twheel drive. Boo.

A cer­tain 1970s su­per­car means the M1 badge is off lim­its, but the 1M name has some cap­i­tal in Aus­tralia, with the 100 pre­vi­ous­gen, man­ual-only coupes quickly sell­ing out.

il­lus­tra­tion by BREN­DON WISE words by SCOTT NEW­MAN

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