Finally: an A45 rivalling BMW 135i

2 April, 2014 | by Lance Branquinho

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If you desperately crave the performance of BMW’s as-yet-unconfirmed second-generation 1M, well, allow us to offer the suggestion of an excellent substitute.

The work of one of those ever resourceful German aftermarket tuners, Wuppertal-based Manhart, the car in question is designated MH1 400 and it’s a very, very quick BMW 1-Series.

Evolved from the M135i, Manhart’s MH1 400 looks the part courtesy of 19-inch alloys, composite spoilers and a carbon-fibre lookalike surface wrap. Don’t be fooled by its appearance, though, as the MH1 400 is hardly a traffic light poser.

Manhart’s technicians have applied themselves with admirable eagerness to the project of boosting BMW’s venerable 3-litre in-line to cartoonish levels of power. Some choice engine control module remapping and crafty custom exhaust tuning realise 312kW, supported by 565Nm.

With such chunky engine output numbers for a RWD hot hatchback (77kW and 115Nm better than M135i), Manhart have attempted to harmonise the MH1 400’s performance by replacing the factory BMW brakes with 380mm discs fore and 356mm rotors aft.

Actuated by eight-piston callipers up front and four-piston grabbers rear, you’ll never have an issue decelerating. In fact, we suspect an emergency stop would probably cause some of your internal organs to flatten in proportion, slightly.

Beyond the manic power on offer, Manhart’s trimmed the MH1 400’s cabin in all manner of Alcantara: disastrous when anybody with a toffee apple is near, but also very much reminiscent of the M3 CSL cabin. We like that. In fact, we like Manhart’s pseudo second-generation 1M quite a lot.

     

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