Plans for a scorching M version of the BMW 1-series are back on track, after its production was put in jeopardy amid concerns about high development costs and its positioning within the German car maker’s line-up. According to Munich bosses, the new car, depicted here in our exclusive computer-generated image, has been brought back into BMW’s forward model line-up following a resurgence in Europe’s hot-hatch ranks with cars such as the Volkswagen Golf R32, Alfa Romeo 147 GTA and Ford Focus RS.
‘The market for high-performance small cars has evolved greatly in recent years. Pricing is not so sensitive and buyers appear prepared to pay more than has been the case up until now,’ a BMW source said.
Seen as a spiritual successor to the original M3 of 1986, the new junior M car was originally conceived with four-cylinder power. But with the standards raised by rival car makers in recent years, BMW is now looking at an all-new 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder engine. It is tipped to use the same bore-centre measurements and individual cylinder capacity as the potent new 5.0-litre V10 engine and is part of an expanded M-engine line-up.