These changes to BMW’s performance models have been introduced at the same time as minor upgrades further down each range, plus updated in-car tech across most BMWs, including the 1, 2, 3 Series and 4 Series, plus the X5 and X6.
New BMW M140i and M240i
The M140i and M240i replace the previous M135i and M235i models, bringing with them more power and improved fuel economy.
The 3.0-litre turbocharged engine is essentially the same unit found in the outgoing 35i pair, but a revised turbo and a more efficient cooling system have helped power climb by 14 horsepower to 335hp, and torque by a healthy 37lb ft to 369lb ft.
The result? The M140i equipped with a six-speed manual covers the 0-62mph benchmark in 4.9 seconds – 0.2 seconds quicker than the M135i – while the coupe version reaches 62mph one tenth of a second sooner. Cars equipped with the eight-speed automatic gearbox are faster still, with both the 1 and 2 Series dispatching the sprint in an identical 4.6 seconds. A new soundproofing material within the engine bay is said to make the six-cylinder sound better, too.
Despite the performance boost, fuel economy has improved. Stop/start technology is the most notable new feature, and among other tweaks helps the M140i on to a claimed 36.2mpg (39.7mpg for the auto.)
BMW 1 Series and 2 Series engine upgrades
Meanwhile, the 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol used elsewhere in the 1 and 2 Series lineup has also been refreshed. The 130i and 230i replace the 128i and 228i, produce 249hp (up 7hp) and reduce the 0-62 times by a couple of tenths to 5.6 seconds. A revised 125i also gains 7hp, delivering 221hp and a similar performance improvement.
Fuel economy has improved in both cases, too. The 230i has improved from 42.8mpg to 45.6mpg, while the 125i’s claimed 49.6mpg, helped by the automatic-only configuration, represents a 7.4mpg increase. The more modest 120i and 220i don’t make any power or performance gains, but fuel consumption for manual gearbox-equipped cars has improved from 44.8mpg to 49.6mpg. Automatic models are more fuel-sipping still.
BMW infotainment improvements
The bulk of BMW’s range will soon benefit from a host of infotainment improvements, too. BMW ConnectedDrive, currently only offered on the 6 and 7 Series, is set to filter down into the bigger sellers in the BMW fleet. The new display screen gains a higher resolution, while the menu display has been redesigned for more straightforward navigation via the rotary iDrive controller. Optional wireless charging for mobile devices and improvements to the wireless hotspot function round out the changes.
Prices and release date
Despite offering more performance and reduced fuel consumption, both the M135i and M235i are £145 cheaper than the models which each replaces. That means the M140i starts from £31,875 and the M240i from £38,535. All of the changes mentioned will hit showrooms from July 2016.
Save money on a BMW 1 Series and 2 Series
If the new tweaks look tempting try out our BMW 1 Series deals page or BMW 2 Series deals page to find the latest discounts. If you’re not sure what to buy, take a look at our car configurator and car chooser pages.