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BMW M140i lobs with new name, spec boost

Still the 1: BMW has introduced changes to its 1 Series range and they will appear in showrooms in the fourth quarter.

More torque and features for flagship BMW 1 Series coming in the fourth quarter

BMW logo21 Jul 2016

By DANIEL DEGASPERI

BMW Australia is targeting major sales growth for its M135i-succeeding M140i, with the 1 Series flagship set to arrive in the fourth quarter boasting a claimed $3500 of extra features for a $2000 price hike.

Now priced from $64,900 plus on-road costs with either a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission, the M140i scores an additional 10kW of power and a hefty 50Nm of torque, with a newly revised 3.0-litre turbocharged six-cylinder producing 250kW and 500Nm.

The flagship’s 0-100km/h claim drops by three-tenths to 4.6 seconds while fuel consumption lowers by 0.6L to 7.1 litres per 100 kilometres.

While there are no exterior changes, the M140i now includes a standard Harman Kardon audio system, keyless auto-entry (dubbed Comfort Access) and electrically adjustable front seats with heating.

BMW Australia head of product planning Shawn Ticehurst explained that the new focus on the M135i’s replacement was prompted by the success of last year’s specification boost for the penultimate 125i model that saw it topple the entry 118i as the top-selling 1 Series locally.

“125i is now our biggest selling 1 Series variant, and that’s been quite a big turn-around for us and a deliberate one,” Mr Ticehurst said.

“In the past it was the entry car that sold best for us and we thought ‘we can change that.’ We put a concerted effort on making the 125i such a good value proposition, we knew the Australian market was ripe for a good performance car and pleasing to say it’s taken hold and sales of 125i this year are up over four times what they were last year.”

Mr Ticehurst added that while, “M135i in its current format has improved in sales quite markedly – it’s about double (year to date) – we think there is more opportunity.

“We took the chance to add features that our customers were ordering as options anyway,” he added. “It’s a plan to boost sales without a doubt … we’re optimistic about further growth.”

Asked whether the feature boost for M140i was in response to the high specification level of its rival Mercedes-AMG A45, Mr Ticehurst responded: “Yeah I think we've got some of their gear in our car and they've got some of our gear in their car.”

As part of the quarter four range updates, the 120i and 125i retain current pricing but the former gains 20Nm and each adds 5kW thanks to new 1.6- and 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder engines respectively.

Each drop by a tenth in the claimed 0-100km/h race, with the 135kW/270Nm 120i rated at 7.1s while becoming 0.2L more frugal at 5.8L/100km, and the 165kW/310Nm 125i at 6.1s also falls by 0.6L to 5.9L/100km.

The $48,900 125i adds LED foglights as standard equipment, whereas kit inside the $41,900 120i remains unaltered.

The 118i and 118d remain unchanged with pricing sitting at $36,900 and $40,300 respectively.

Mr Ticehurst confirmed that 2 Series engine changes will follow late this year, with specification additions likely to greet the M240i flagship in particular.

BMW 1 Series sales are up 51.3 per cent over the first half of 2016, although its 1474-unit tally remains adrift of the Audi A3 (3076, including sedan) and Mercedes-Benz A-Class (2417) that have each boosted sales by around half the percentage.

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