BMW's take on the hot hatch theme,
the rear-drive 130i, will boast the most powerful
six-cylinder engine the company has yet produced,
excluding the M3. Thanks in part to VANOS and
Valvetronic valvegear, the 3-litre straight-six
pumps out 265bhp and 232lb ft of torque, enough to
punch the 130i from standstill to 62mph in 6.1sec;
top speed is limited to 155mph.
When the car was first announced in March it
had 'just' 258bhp, yet still managed to lap
the Nürburgring in 8min 35sec, earning it the
nickname of the 'Baby
M car'. Now with more
power and benefiting from rear-wheel drive and
near 50:50 weight distribution, the 130i is well
placed to shake up the 'superhatch' end of the market.
Externally identifiable by its special 17in alloys,
chromed grille slats and twin
chromed tailpipes, the 130i will also be available
with the option of a new M Sport package including bodykit,
bigger alloys, suspension pack, sports seats and other
interior 'enhancements'; M Sport parts are also an
option for the rest of the 1-series range.
One option for the 130i that you could easily live without,
however, is Active Steering.
UK sales of the 130i begin this September,
and prices will start at £24,745 for the SE.