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BMW 1 Series to score more performance variants

Andrew Chesterton
Contributing journalist
CarsGuide

21 Jul 2018 • 3 min read

BMW's M140i hatch could soon be getting some go-fast siblings, with the company's M boss planning more performance variants of the brand's smallest car.

Speaking at the launch of the M2 and M5 Competition, M performance boss Frank Van Meel told CarsGuide he sees "a lot of potential" for the M badge on the 1 Series.

Sadly, that doesn't necessarily mean a full-blown M1 - nor does it rule it out - but it does mean we could see M engineers working their magic on the 1 Series in the near future.

"I do see a lot of potential for M," Van Meel says. "But we do also have a very broad range of M segments.

"We have M performance, pure M, high performance - there are still a lot of possibilities for the future."

At the moment, the M140i stands alone as the only performance version of the 1 Series. But asked whether we could soon be seeing more variants wearing an M badge, Van Meel simply replied "yes."

Mercedes is in the process of expanding its A-Class performance range, with an A35 to join a new A45 this year, forming a new entry point to the AMG lineup. The two-pronged approach matches that of Audi, too, with its S3 and RS3 duo.

The smallest BMW is about to be updated, with a new front-wheel-drive model replacing the current rear-wheel-drive version. And Van Meel concedes the change will make creating a full-blown M car "a huge challenge."

"If you want to do that with a front-wheel drive, that's I think the biggest challenge you can have," he says. "It's just a huge challenge and there are a lot of ways to try and solve that issue, but as you can see, we haven't found the solution right now."

Should BMW build more go-fast 1 Series models? Tell us in the comments below.