How times change. Where once an output north of 300bhp was reserved for only the most serious of performance cars, now it’s the bare minimum a hatchback needs to be considered ‘hot’. Indeed, the BMW M140i wades into battle with an eyebrow-raising 335bhp.
Unlike rivals such as the Ford Focus RS and Volkswagen Golf R, the M140i doesn’t rely on fancy-pants four-wheel drive. Instead, it channels everything its 3.0-litre turbocharged six-cylinder engine can muster to the rear wheels through a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic gearbox.
Although it can’t match the Audi RS3 and Mercedes-AMG A45 for brute horsepower, the M140i has its own charm that makes it a very appealing everyday performance car. To find out what that is, stay with us over the next few pages for our detailed review.