In 2016, the F20-generation BMW 1 Series received a significant refresh, giving this surprisingly long-lived model line a shot in the arm. Most notable in that respect was the morphing of the M135i into the M140i.
The engine was still a 3.0-litre straight six with a twin-scroll turbo, but the new B58 motor got a higher compression ratio and boost pressure, giving it 340hp (up 14hp) and 369lb ft of torque (up 37lb ft). It’s not even all that thirsty, with 35mpg a reasonable possibility. Power was driven to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual or a slick eight-speed automatic.
In many ways, the M140i isn’t perfect. Wet-road grip is a challenge, the pedals are a wee bit offset and the drivetrain layout compromises interior space. But it’s a wonderful engine and a gloriously fast car with a distinctly rebellious streak. It’s a last-of-the-line type of car, too – in 2019 the next-gen M135i lost two cylinders and gained (if that’s an apt word) front-biased four-wheel drive.
It’s a hoary old cliche in most cases to say they don’t make them like this anymore. Yet in the M140i’s case, it’s absolutely true.