BMW in May unveiled a new generation of its 1-Series hatchback , which we won’t see in the United States. The car has dropped the rear-wheel-drive layout of its predecessors and in its most potent guise, badged M135i , delivers a respectable 306 horsepower, with drive going through all four wheels.
However, Audi and Mercedes-Benz’s rivals to the 1-Series hatch offer upward of 400 hp or more thanks to their respective tuning houses. The Audi RS 3 Sportback delivers 400 hp and the Mercedes-AMG A45 S hatch has lifted the bar to an insane 416 hp.
You might be thinking the BMW M division will be preparing an alternative, but it isn’t. The information was revealed by BMW M chief Marcus Flasch in an interview with Top Gear published last week.
Part of the reason is that BMW M doesn’t have a high-performance engine that will fit into the front-wheel-drive platform of BMW’s latest compact cars. The platform, known as FAAR, is designed for inline-3 and inline-4 engines while BMW M’s smallest engine is an inline-6.
Sadly, it means there will likely be no hot version of the U.S.-bound 2-Series Gran Coupe to take on Mercedes-AMG’s CLA45. It’s not all bad news as BMW M’s compact car fans can look forward to a new generation of the M2 coupe , and it will come complete with rear-wheel drive and an inline-6 (a perfect combination, if you ask us).