The hot-hatch war continues unabated, but BMW is adamant it won’t be entering the battle with a full-on M-branded hatchback.
With the likes of the Audi RS3 and Mercedes-AMG A45 hyper hatchbacks fighting it out at the top end of the market while more affordable models like the Ford Focus RS also bring big performance bang for your buck, there’s space for BMW to join the race.
The brand already has the BMW M135i hatchback, which falls under the M Performance brand – that means it’s not as manic as it could be.
As such, its six-cylinder turbo engine runs short on outright power – with 240kW and 450Nm it’s no slouch! – but the RS3’s five-cylinder engine has 270kW/465Nm, while the four-cylinder engine in the A45 has 280kW/475Nm and the Focus RS’s four-pot has 257kW/470Nm.
And unlike the bigger hitters in the class, it’s rear-wheel drive. All-wheel-drive helps get the grunt to the ground more effectively, leading to quicker sprint times – BMW: 4.9 seconds from 0-100km/h; A45: 4.2sec; RS3: 4.3sec; Focus RS: 4.7sec.
Published: Friday, February 26, 2016