The old 3.0 litre turbocharged N55 engine that powers both the M135i and M235i has been phased out in favour of of BMW’s new modular B-series straight six. Still displacing 3.0 litres and featuring a twin-scroll turbo, the new engine makes 10kW more power and 50Nm more torque than the outgoing engine for a total of 250kW and 400Nm.
Peak power happens at 5500rpm while peak torque is available from 1500rpm through to 4500rpm. To reflect their extra muscle both cars will, from June, sport M140i and M240i badges on their rumps, while the three-door bodystyle will continue to be offered in Europe for the M140i (though isn’t likely for Australia).
The M140i hatch and M240i coupe now hit 100km/h in a claimed 4.6 seconds (auto) and 4.8 seconds (manual), with xDrive versions even quicker at 4.4 seconds. At the same time, fuel consumption falls to 7.8L/100km (manual), 7.4L/100km (AWD) and 7.1L/100km (auto).
Two major options are the eight-speed paddleshift gearbox – which is very good, and matches the engine wonderfully – and xDrive all-wheel drive, which is available outside of the UK and drops the 0-62mph time to 4.4sec, as well as putting the M140i right in the court of the Focus RS and Audi RS3 for all-weather ability.