M135i

Volvo’s V40 T5 R-Design will cost more than BMW’s M135i

We’re big fans of Volvo’s V40 – which is a true rival to BMW’s 1 Series and Audi’s A4 and yet is still an individual’s choice with its own unique qualities. But the model that will account for at least 25% of all V40 purchases is the R-Design, which Volvo has this morning announced the UK pricing for.

Audi reveals an all-new 296bhp S3

It seems that the ‘on-paper’ superiority of BMW’s M135i xDrive is about to receive a serious challenge from Audi’s all-new S3, due to be launched at the forthcoming Paris Motor Show.

Based upon the new lighter Audi A3, the 2013 S3 weighs 60kg less than its predecessor, tipping the scales at just 1,395kg. And while the S3 Sportback previously wielded 261bhp, its successor deploys a class-leading 296bhp from a completely new 2.0 TFSI engine, developed specifically for the S3.

BMW Concept M135i set to appear at Geneva

Don’t get bogged down in the name – M135i – or try and correlate its powerplant with that of the previous generation 1 M. This is a straight six twin-turbocharged 1 Series from the new BMW M Performance range, that recently brought us the M550d and M50d X6/X5.