The BMW 1-Series, which was sold from 2004 to 2011 or so here in the U.S., longer elsewhere, took the place of the 3-Series coupes of yesteryear. It was small, quick and the cabin wasn’t a penalty box. It was what people liked about the beloved E30s and E36s -- the 2-Series fits that bill here in the States now, and it’s the best car the company makes. But in other markets, including Australia, the 1 is still the one.

Australia is losing the 1-Series too, but not before a semi-hot, M140i Finale Edition. It will be the last based on a rear-wheel-drive platform. Both it and our 2-Series are going front drive in the next generation.

But, this M140i, which we can’t get here until … 2044, comes with smoked head- and taillights, 18-inch wheels, special badging, a high-gloss black grille frame, metallic paint and black chrome tailpipes. It also gets a sunroof and wireless charging and comes standard with adaptive suspension and M Sport Brakes.

That’s a fantastic base package, but the coup de grace is the massaged B58 inline six, which gets a single, twin-scroll turbocharger, 335 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. It’s connected to an eight-speed automatic, which is fine -- though a six-speed row-your-own would be better -- and eventually the rear wheels.

Down Under the Finale package tacks on 3,000 Australian dollars, which are like ours but they spin the other way when going down a toilet. In USD the total cost would be about $47K. But don’t worry about that, in 25 years it’ll be way less...or more, depending on how good it is.

Rumor has it we may actually see a 1-Series here in the States again, to compete with Mercedes’ A-Class, but we’ll be surprised if it’s as hot as the Finale. And it definitely won’t be rear-wheel drive.

Source: Autoweek

February 12, 2019