BMW M140i Performance Edition revealed

BMW M140i Performance Edition revealed

The newly revised BMW M140i will gain a limited-run Performance Edition to up the ante on the already impressive rear-drive, straight-six-turbo package.

Slated for launch in the second half of 2017, the $71,900 M140i Performance Edition will be restricted to just 60 units, each fitted with M Performance gear and a special ‘1 of 60’ plaque to signify its build status and rarity.

While the 250kW/500Nm outputs of the new B58 engine remain the same, the key mechanical change resides with the 15 manual examples, which gain a mechanical limited-slip differential as standard.

The remaining 45 units utilising the eight-speed ZF automatic will miss out on the LSD, but like the manual, gain the new M Performance exhaust system with chrome tips for extra acoustic and visual appeal.

BMW M exhaustA concept-to-reality initiative of BMW Australia, the Performance Edition is the brainchild of Product and Pricing Analyst, Ryan Begg.

“We’re excited about this car as it fills a bit of a gap for us in terms of being able to have an M140i that’s got some customisation. As far as a mini M-car goes, this is our local nod to those cars”.

The exterior enhancements of the M-fettled 1 Series extend to BMW M Performance 19-inch alloys finished in bi-colour Orbit grey, hand-crafted, carbon fibre exterior mirror covers and a high-gloss black kidney grille, while the rear fins and roof-mounted spoiler receive a matte-black finish.

BMW 1 SeriesOn the inside, and taking inspiration from the M4 GTS, the Performance Edition gains extensive use of open-pore carbon-fibre and Alcantara on all the important driver touchpoints.

Other additions include Aluminium pedal covers, sports seats wrapped in Alcantara (Dakota leather optional), M Performance LED door sills and a bespoke carbon-fibre shift knob with an Alcantara shift boot for the manual.

When asked why the decision was taken to allocate the smaller build number to the LSD-equipped manual, Begg explained that it was simply down to customer take-up rates.

“Australia is quite a small manual market and although there are enthusiasts out there who would choose a manual, most of the people buying a car of this nature are going to choose an automatic. As much as you want to disagree with that rationality as an enthusiast, that’s the reality of our market in Australia”.

M PerformanceIf you want an M140i Performance Edition you’ll have to get in quick. BMW Group Australia CEO, Marc Werner advised that once the allocation has been snapped up, that’s it.

“In my opinion it looks brilliant, but we also said we need to keep it at low numbers and we want to make it exclusive. When those cars are sold then we can decide what else to do”.

Begg added that the aim from the outset was never to sell the car in high volume. “We wanted to make a car that was exciting for us as well. This is what our customers like, which is performance-orientated cars. And it’s what we like too,” he said.

Get your free weekly report from the world of fast cars - subscribe to the MOTOR newsletter!