A fresh report suggests BMW is indeed working on a 300 kW version of the 1 Series to slot in above the M135i, complete with a hybrid powertrain.
Soon after the reveal of the third-generation 1 Series (which runs on a front-wheel-drive platform), the Munich-based firm said it had no plans to build a hyper hatch to battle the likes of the new Mercedes-AMG A45 S and Audi RS3 Sportback, suggesting buyers in that segment were covered by the M2 Competition.
But, according to Automobile, the Bavarian automaker is hard at work developing something called the M140e, which is apparently set to be revealed as early as 2020.
The report claims the M Performance model – which would, of course, sit above the 225 kW M135i xDrive despite not being a full-fat M model – will employ a plug-in hybrid powertrain combining the brand’s turbocharged 2,0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with a 60 kW electric motor.
Add a 35 kWh battery as well as a water-injection system, and the rumoured M140e’s combined outputs are expected to stand at around 300 kW and 500 N.m, lining up nicely with Affalterbach’s 310 kW/500 N.m A45 S.
The M140e, of course, would furthermore offer an all-electric driving mode, with Automobile suggesting a range of between 80 to 110 km.
Ryan has spent most of his career in online media, writing about everything from sport to politics and other forms of crime. But his true passion – reignited by a 1971 Austin Mini Mk3 still tucked lifeless in a dark corner of his garage – is of the automotive variety.