Sorry, no performance BMW hatch for you.
The new 1 Series is a major departure from the previous generation of the model. It’s designed from the ground up and relies on an FWD platform shared with Mini. The most powerful offering in the range is the M135i xDrive with a 2.0-litre turbocharged motor generating 302 bhp and 332 pound-feet of torque. Apparently, it will remain the range-topper in long-term perspective as BMW has no plans to develop a full-fat M1.
The information was revealed to AutoExpress in a recent interview with BMW M product boss Carsten Pries. He commented that future M models should have a global appeal and small performance hatches don’t meet this requirement. “If you look at the relevance of performance hatchbacks, they are not global things,” Pries declared. When asked if there’s any chance for a more hardcore variant of the 1 Series, he said:
“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”.
Don’t worry, the M2 Coupe will continue to exist together with the M3 and M5 – these remain the core models of BMW M. The most likely new additions to the range though will be from the X lineup – including the new X7, which makes a better business case for the brand than the M1. Think the X7 is too big to form a proper performance vehicle? Pries disagrees.
“We had a customer from the U.S. I had lunch with recently, and I asked him ‘to your eyes, what is the size of the X7?’ For us, it is huge in Europe. He said ‘it’s normal’. That shows you it is always dependent on the perspective that you look at things from."