BMW m140i: An Endearing RWD Hot-Hatch

Considering the functionality of the BMW M140i, it is understandable why this vehicle is loveable. You can place your bets on this hatchback with a powerful engine and robust dynamics, making the M140i a winner.

Table of Contents

BMW m140i taking a corner

In the hot hatch market of today, you have several possibilities for about thirty thousand pounds. Most are built around turbocharged four-cylinder engines and utilize sophisticated AWD systems or challenging front suspensions to assist in distributing the power, but BMW provides something a little different.

BMW m140i from back

The premium 1-series hatchback already defies the class norm by having rear-wheel drive, but the M140i from BMW’s M Performance brand adds the time-honored 3.0-litre turbocharged straight-six to the mix.

A little improvement over the M135i, the terminology might have changed, but that also brought a 14bhp increase and a number of other minute under-the-hood adjustments that smoothed the edges of the preceding vehicle.

Although the M140i isn’t quite a full-fledged M model like the latest BMW M2 Competition, it does have modifications to help set it apart from its diesel competitors.

A throwback to the m140i transition

BMW 120i
  • Before 2011, the predecessor of the BMW m140 series was the famous E87.
  • This generation was produced from 2004 to 2013.
  • Similar to the F20 and F21 shapes for the one series, this predecessor also had the 3-door and 5-door options.
BMW 1 series F21/F29 series
  • The first model of the one series F20/F21 BMW series was the five-door hatchback.
  • It made its debut at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show.
BMW m135i back
  • The F21 model, which was the 3-door version, was launched later on in 2012. The car was a BMW m135i with a six-cylinder inline engine.
  • The 2015 facelift included revised bumpers and taillights, and it also had LEDs. The Lights had directional headlight technology.
  • The m135i had the famous B58 engine by BMW in 2015, which was the first facelift for the One series.
BMW m140i badge

The m140i replaced the m135i from the year 2016.

Trims and Specifications for m140i

The BMW m140i had various trim levels.  The handling and technology of the versions changed just a bit. There are four trim levels for the BMW M140i: SE, Sport, M Sport, and M Sport Shadow Edition. Additionally, the M140i is offered in two alternative hatchback configurations: a 5-door hatchback (F20) and a 3-door hatchback (F21).

Performance of BMW m140i

0-60 figures

BMW m140i on road

Despite the fact that this car lacks focus on the impressive performance BMW offers with its M badge. The manual trim has a figure of 4.8 seconds from 0 to 60 miles per hour. This is all due to the plenty of torque it has packed up and how it makes you rev up to seven thousand rpm unstressed.

With the introduction of technological advancements by BMW, the automatic trim drops the same 0 to 60 time down to 4.6 seconds. The ZF transmission, with its short gears and sharp shifts, the BMW m140i is far off on the charts from its counterparts, the Mercedes AMG 45 and the Audi RS3.

BMW m140i on a rainy road

Yes, when the conditions are wet, the price rivals like the Golf R and the Audi RS3 will leave this BMW m140i for dead with their all-wheel drive option. Let’s not worry about that; it won’t rain every day.

Engine and Transmission for BMW m140i

BMW m140i engine

The first look might not be appealing for the M140i with its same 3-litre straight six engine, the same as the m135i. The capacity, although, has increased from 2979cc to 2998cc. It all comes to horsepower figures where the M140i has the upper hand with 14 horsepower more, making the total 335 brake horsepower.

This new engine sits happily at 7000 horsepower and loses no power at all, even in the red lines. It’s a sad moment that you can only hear the six-cylinder roar properly from the outside.

BMW m140i engine and transmission

The basic gearbox for the BMW m140i is a six-speed manual. It perfectly complements the new engine’s tremendous torque output, which results in outstanding acceleration even in higher ratios.

The eight-speed torque converter automatic transmission from the ZF gearbox is what brings drama to this car. With zero faults whatsoever, it has quick effects and the most direct gear changes.

How does the m140i handle?

BMW m140i on road

The M140i rides incredibly smoothly and maintains a fair level of control when the Comfort driving option is chosen. Although there is some body roll, it is slight and natural, and the car handles sloping roads at a reasonable speed with little drama at all. Sport and Sport+ don’t significantly alter the BMW’s attitude, but every move you make has a greater impact on the vehicle. The most pronounced feeling of occurs when the automobile is coming out of a corner when applying the throttle truly excites the rear wheel and aids in turning the vehicle.

BMW m140i drifiting

If you’re on for some fun, you can turn off the traction control all the way. The three hundred and thirty-five horses will show you how this car was actually meant to be driven. If, in case, the grip is lost, the amount of power and torque this car has easily corrects that.

The m140i as a standard trim does not come with a limited-slip differential, which can be purchased as an option for £2520. Therefore, recovering traction can be touch-heated even if the chassis tries its best to keep any resultant slide predictable due to the absence of an LSD.

Interior and tech for the BMW m140i

BMW m140i interior

The interior of the M140i, like all BMWs, is built on a strong basis of superb artistry and aesthetics. With the exception of trim changes and infotainment system improvements, the current version, which made its debut in 2011, didn’t have the most spectacular appearance.

With sports seating and a sport steering column elevating the interior atmosphere above regular versions, the M Performance model’s standard equipment is robust.

The seats in front have ample space. The seats at the back have a slight disadvantage as its rivals are a little better in that area.

BMW m140i idrive system

The widely used i-drive system is intuitive and well-designed. Upgrade to the more “professional” i-drive system and one of the greatest user interfaces in the industry is complemented by the newest set of online services from BMW.

The outlook of the BMW m140i

BMW m140i front look

At the launch of the series, the one series had a substantially long bonnet and an odd front. With time comes betterment. BMW, with its mid-facelift, paved the way for a change that looked aesthetically pleasing.

BMW m140i side mirror

The latest m140i has a more coherent look thanks to a totally reworked front end with new LED headlamps and a new rear end as well. Over the more conventional M Sport models, the M140i has distinctive aesthetic elements such as satin silver accents on the front bumper, mirror covers, and dark-finished 18-inch alloys.

What do the Famous Journalists say?

“The BMW M140i’s six-cylinder engine and rear-wheel-drive layout make it a rather old-school hot hatch compared to some high-tech four-wheel-drive alternatives.”-Matt Watson(carwow)

“Not that the M140i was lacking in that department anyway – as the smooth and great-sounding six provides a huge boost, whatever the revs”-AutoExpress


BMW m140i front LEDs

Considering the functionality of the BMW M140i, it is understandable why this vehicle is loveable. You can place your bets on this hatchback with a powerful engine and robust dynamics, making the M140i a winner. Whether it is daily driving or long trips, the BMW M140i is practical and safe, providing a good solution to your traveling needs.

As Jeremy Clarkson stated

“If you hate the BMW M140i, then you hate driving.”

In addition, it has a charming interior and premium materials, so you won’t feel like compromising on quality. The car’s exterior is rather manageable, and customization is easy, making it versatile. The major setback of the M140i is the cramped backseats, an issue of comfortability that cannot be compromised.

The M140i has a tonne of competitors, which is wonderful for buyers. The Honda Civic Type R will appeal to fans of track days, while those looking for a superb engine and chassis combination will choose the BMW. The Ford Focus RS is a fantastic value mix of both. The M140i still stands out among them as one of the best vehicles available.

Features and attributes of BMW m140i



Was the M140i a leap for BMW in the hot hatch segment?

Absolutely! BMW broke the mold with a rear-wheel-drive hot hatch, coupling it with a potent 3.0L turbocharged straight-six engine. It’s a unique breed in the hot hatch world.

How does the M140i stack up against its competitors?

Picture this: while rivals go for AWD, the M140i dances to its own tune with RWD. It’s a symphony of power and agility, making it a compelling choice among the hot hatch orchestra.

Is the BMW M140i a reliable companion for daily drives?

Like a loyal friend. The M140i combines robust dynamics, a powerful engine, and practicality, making it a winner for both daily commutes and thrilling journeys.

Written by: TAZ

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