The BMW M140i
This car is a rather unique and special one. It is a little hatchback by BMW and the only hatchback on sale with rear-wheel drive as well as a 6-cylinder engine.
It is known to have funny looks as the bonnet is very long, and the cabin is slanted very far back. This is because it is rear-wheel drive and based off their 3-series sedan. Every time it is updated, it looks a little better but still never quite right.
In the top performance model – the M140i – the engine powering it is the turbo charged 3.0L straight-six. It makes 250kW of power and 500Nm of torque. This engine powers the rear wheels via an 8-speed ZF automatic transmission with paddle shifters. In some markets, it can be bought with BMW’s X-Drive all-wheel drive system allowing for more grip on acceleration.
While the power output is not quite as high as its competitors, it is still very fast and can get to 100kph in 4.6 seconds. Being a 6 cylinder, it has one of the best sounds. Personally, the raspy 5-cylinder Audi RS3 is the best. Go easy on the throttle and you will return a claimed 7.1L/100km of fuel which is very good considering its power and performance potential.
Being rear-wheel drive, the weight balance between front and rear is near perfect. This allows it to be very balanced and you can go very fast around the corners living up to BMW’s claim of ‘The Ultimate Driving Machine’. You can have a lot of fun with it. Even in the dry, you can swing the rear around and do some cheeky drifts.
In some markets, it can be bought as a 3-door hatch back instead of the regular 5-door. This makes it look a little more like a shooting brake and even more awkward.
There are staggered 18-inch wheels with 225 wide tyres on the front and 245 on the rear. This gives it a great stance and a very large amount of grip and you can go speeding around the corners.
The driving position is great as you sit nice and low with your legs stretched out, however, being a rear wheel drive car, there is a differential in the rear. This makes the boot is a little smaller than other hatchbacks and there is a big transmission tunnel to house the driveshaft. This makes it very cramped for an unlucky person sitting in the middle seat.
The interior is typical BMW. It has everything laid out intuitively and looks nice and clean. The materials are of high quality and great to touch. The steering wheel is very nice to hold on to and houses the big paddle shifters.
The technology list is impressive. Purchase a lot of options and you have a very safe and entertaining place to reside in with just about anything you can think of.
BMW’s famous iDrive infotainment is included and it gives you a lot of connectivity and different settings that you can have.
Later next year, there is to be an all new model that replaces this. From the spy pictures, it looks to switch to a front-wheel drive platform which inherently leads to the loss of the straight-six engine. All that make the car unique, gone.
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