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BMW 130i: 195kW for $62,000

Hot hatch: 130i will pack more power than the 330i and 530i sedans.

BMW blesses its upcoming 130i hatch with 195kW and an equally surprising $62K price

18 Jul 2005

BMW has announced a surprisingly competitive $62,000 pricetag for its top-shelf 1 Series hatch due on sale here in December.

Even bigger news, however, is that the 130i will lob with the most powerful version of BMW’s new magnesium-alloy R6-series inline six yet seen.

Packing 195kW and 315Nm of torque (up 5kW and 15Nm on the peak outputs afforded by both the new 330i sedan and recently upgraded 530i sedan), the 130i claims 0-100km/h acceleration in a storming 6.1 seconds – along with an electronically-limited 250km/h top speed.

It’s believed BMW has blessed the flagship 1 Series with extra performance to ensure it outpaces its two most direct rivals in Alfa Romeo’s $59,990 147 GTA and Audi’s $72,000 A3 3.2 quattro.

A three-mode six-speed Steptronic automatic 130i will join the six-speed manual 130i here in mid-2006 but, officially, BMW says a legitimate M1-badged variant won’t be produced until the 1 Series is sold in the US, which is expected to be its largest market.

While BMW has no apparent plans to produce a smaller six-cylinder variant in a 125i, the 130i will indefinitely top the rear-drive 1 Series range here, which currently starts at $34,900 for the 85kW 1.6-litre 116i and extends to the 2.0-litre 118i ($37,900, 95kW) and 120i ($41,900, 110kW).

As for the 1 Series’ direct rival, Mercedes-Benz’s new A-class will get a new range-topper in the 142kW A200 Turbo, which arrives here late this year priced at $44,400.

Australia’s 130i will come standard with a BMW M Sport Package, comprising M Sport suspension, M double-spoke light alloy wheels, Sport seats and an M leather steering wheel.

14 center image Other standard features will include Xenon headlights, leather upholstery, electric seats with lumbar support, an auto dipping interior mirror, CD changer, Bluetooth phone preparation and rear Park Distance Control.

The 130i’s M Sport Package will become available as an option across the rest of the four-cylinder 1 Series range.

Revealed at this year’s Geneva motor show in March, the 130i is claimed to have lapped the Nurburgring Northern Loop in 8:35, putting it in the realm of M-badged vehicles.

* Last week BMW also announced a price of a $270,000 for its 373kW V10-powered M6 coupe – $74,000 more than the $196,000 645Ci coupe upon which it’s based and $44,000 more than the M5 sedan, with which it shares its engine.

The first small batch of M6 coupes will arrive here around Christmas this year, with a further limited shipment to follow.

* Meantime, the E90 325i sedan joined the all-new 3 Series range in BMW showrooms last week.

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