400hp BMW M140e hybrid due next year

BMW is said to be planning a new take on its performanceΒ 1 Series variant next year, with a 400hp hybrid model waiting in the wings. The M140eΒ will offer the broadest mix of performance and efficiency in the 1 Series line-up by combining BMW’s M-fettled turbocharged 2.0-litre with a battery-fed electric motor, providingΒ 70 miles of zero-emission range – and arguablyΒ creatingΒ the first plug-inΒ hybrid of genuine hot hatchΒ calibre.

That’s according to a report byΒ Automobile Magazine, which said the four-cylinderΒ petrol – presumably the 2.0 from the upcoming M135i xDrive – will use water injection technology, withΒ the electric hardware contributing 80hp to its punch thanks to a 35kWh battery pack. Total output is pegged atΒ 400hp and 369lb ft of torque, which would make the five-door M140e about as potent as the Mercedes-AMG A45.

Like AMG, the M140e will use all-wheel drive, although it’s likely the electric motor will drive through the gearbox rather than provide direct twist to the back axle. There’s also a good chance that BMW will equip the model with something to rival the AMG’s drift mode and offer the flexibility (aka oversteer) delivered in the M5 and upcoming M3/M4. With the instantaneous torque provided by that electric motor, the prospect is certainly an exciting one.

Will that be enough to appease fans of the departed six-cylinder, rear-driven M140i? Probably not, because many of us loved that car (and could forgive its foibles) thanks to its comparably old school operation. But in a world where 0-62mph times and electric ranges are dominating new car specs sheets, an M140e would seem to fit the bill rather nicely. Anyway, for those who prefect things a little simpler, the 306hp pure petrol-powered M135i xDrive is not far from rivalling the AMG A35. Alternatively, Β£25k will get you a nearly new six-pot…

P.H. O'meter

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Comments (149) Join the discussion on the forum

  • BigChiefmuffinAgain 10 Aug 2019

    Nice idea but these cars never have that much boot space to start with.

    Where are they going to put the batteries ? 70 mile range would, with current technology, require quite a lot ???

  • The Wookie 10 Aug 2019

    Welcome to the 1800kg hot hatch

  • fernando the frog 10 Aug 2019

    I know it's a cliche but if you removed the badges and stuck Merc ones on I wouldn't think anything of it

  • Greg the Fish 10 Aug 2019

    Gosh that's ugly

  • modeller 10 Aug 2019

    35kWh battery - I doubt it!

    i3S has a 33kWh battery which is good for 110-150miles and weighs ~300kg

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