BMW South Africa has released pricing for its new 1 Series hatchback, with the two-strong local range expected to arrive on local soil in October 2019.

As we reported after the reveal of the new F40-generation 1 Series (which has, of course, switched to a front-wheel-drive platform) in May 2019, only the petrol-powered 118i and range-topping M135i xDrive will be offered in South Africa at launch. That means SA will miss out on the 116d, the 118d and the 120d xDrive ... initially, at least.

So, how much are we looking at here? Well, the 118i will be priced from R480 897, and uses a turbocharged 1,5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine sending 103 kW and 220 N.m to the front wheels. It's unclear whether the firm's “further-developed” six-speed manual gearbox will be offered on this derivative, or whether this price includes the seven-speed dual-clutch Steptronic transmission.

And the M135i xDrive? Well, the all-wheel-drive hot hatch – which will battle the likes of the Audi S3 Sportback, fresh-faced Mercedes-AMG A35 and Volkswagen Golf R – will be priced from R705 451, making it some R15 000 less expensive than the outgoing rear-driven (six-cylinder) M140i. As a reminder, the turbocharged 2,0-litre four-cylinder unit generates 225 kW and 450 N.m, directed to all four corners via an eight-speed Steptronic Sport transmission with launch control.

That’s enough for a sprint to three figures in a claimed 4,8 seconds (or one-tenth quicker with the upcoming M Performance package specified) and an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h. A mechanical Torsen limited-slip differential, M Sport steering and uprated brakes are all part of the M135i package.