It’s sort of odd for American BMW enthusiasts to feel sad about the rear-wheel drive 1 Series switching to front-wheel drive. While it’s understandable for European enthusiasts to mourn one of the brand’s best cars in ages, the 1er Hatch never made it ‘Stateside. So American enthusiasts have been deprived of the 1 Series Hatchback’s charms. Still, it doesn’t take having to drive it to realize how good of a car it is and why it’s a shame the next model will be front-wheel drive. So when we read reviews like this one from Car Magazine, of the BMW M140i, we’re a bit sad that this generation of 1 Series will soon be gone, as it’s been one of BMW’s best.
Powering the BMW M140i is the new B58 3.0 liter turbocharged I6 engine that makes 335 hp and 368 lb-ft of torque. When paired with an automatic gearbox and rear-wheel drive, the M140i can hit 60 mph in 4.6 seconds. That’s pretty damn rapid for a hatchback. It’s not as fast as an Audi RS3 Sportback or the Mercedes-AMG A45 but it’s faster than the Volkswagen Golf R and is still far fast enough to be fun. Plus, it’s the only car in the segment to have rear-wheel drive, so it’s the most dynamic, engaging and fun to drive.
But it isn’t just the speed that makes the M140i so brilliant. It’s the engine, too. That B58 engine is one of the world’s best, as it delivers silky smooth power throughout its rev-range and it sounds fantastic. “The 3.0 liter straight-six’s tenor-like noise alone can make your neck hairs stand on end, and revving it until the 7000rpm redline is hugely addictive.” said Car Magazine about the M140i’s engine.
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