2016 BMW M140i review
Rear-drive balance, a smooth six-pot motor and a beautifully judged eight-speed gearbox: the M140i is as rewarding as the car it replaces
Despite not being a ‘proper’ M car, the M135i has become something of a cult classic among the automotive community. First released in 2012, it’s one of those machines that doesn’t look particularly exciting on paper but offers a truly special driving experience. It is, without doubt, one of our favourite hot hatches.So why, you might ask, has BMW gone to the effort of replacing the M135i with the new M140i? After all, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Well, it turns out that BMW is well aware of this idiom and has embraced it, choosing to update the current car rather than overhaul it. The badging has been altered to bring the M140i in line with its M240i and 440i coupé siblings and the sonorous 3.0-litre engine has been fettled to produce 335bhp – up 14bhp. No downsizing here, thank you very much.Producing the same 369lb ft as the BMW M2, the M140i promises to be quick in a straight line, but you can’t help wondering if BMW should have considered updating the chassis, too. Especially when you consider that the Ford Focus RS, Honda Civic Type R and Seat Leon Cupra 290 have all moved the hot hatch game on considerably in recent years.