For me, the great thing about BMW’s plan for a hot 1-Series is not just that there is going to be an M version of the coupe/two-door saloon (view it how you will), but that it’s going to be ‘in the tradition of the very first M3’.
You’ll remember the first M3, of course. Some lads from our sister title Pistonheads have driven one to the Classic Le Mans this weekend and brought it to the office the other day.
It still looks fabulous and, in its smallness, seems now more relevant than ever. At 1200kg it was light, and a touch under 200bhp from its highly-tuned four pot was ample.
I very much doubt either of those numbers will be so small this time. A 135i coupe already runs in at 1530kg and 302bhp. What I hope is that M division has the confidence to feel that it doesn’t just have to blitz the power of the rest of the range. It has other models – M5, M6 the Xs – that do that.
I’d love to think that when BMW talks about the affordability and purity of the original, it really means it. Keep it light, keep it simple, remember that handling and fun are not the same as power and grip.