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BMW's Next Mercedes-AMG Target Has Been Identified

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The big question is whether we'd get it in America.

There's no shortage of automakers out there producing hot hatches – some of which are available in North America, and some of which are not. For all its performance prowess, we wouldn't count BMW among the foremost of them, but this latest development could stand to change that.

According to Automobile mag's well-informed European bureau chief Georg Kacher, the Bavarian manufacturer is working on a high-powered version of the 1 Series hatchback with a hybrid powertrain delivering as much as 400 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. And we like how that all sounds very much.

Tipped to be called the M140e, the hybrid hot hatch would slot above the current M135i (pictured), and emerge among the first M Performance hybrids – something which we've long been anticipating as a foregone conclusion. The report says it'd even use the water-injection system, a high-tech cooling innovation that BMW first rolled out on the previous M4 GTS.

With 400 hp, the M140e would run in good company, with the likes of the Audi RS3 (394 hp), the new Mercedes-AMG A45 S (416 hp), and the next-generation Volkswagen Golf R, which is expected to far eclipse the outgoing model's 296-hp output

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The big question is, if approved for production, whether we'd even get the M140 in America altogether. BMW hasn't offered a 1 Series on these shores since it spun the coupe and convertible off into the 2 Series, and isn't likely to bring the hatchback over here any time soon. That segment it's left up largely to the i3 and the Mini brand. But it very well could slot the same (or a similar) powertrain into the 2 Series for the US market. We hope that if it does, it brings all 400 horsepower with it.

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