As evident by the clip taken by the Automotive Mike YouTube channel, and then posted by the BMW Blog, the moderately disguised prototype doesn’t provide much indication of what is hiding underneath, especially as Munich has indicated that no plans are in place to revive the M140i moniker anytime soon.
What is however likely is that the mule could be serving as a test bed for the rumoured M140e whose electrified 2.0-litre turbocharged engine is anticipated to produce 298kW/500Nm. A step-up from the current range-topping M135i’s 224kW/400Nm, the M140e will have a reported all-electric range of up to 113 km as well as the xDrive all-wheel-drive system.
In a related theory however, the online publication claims that the model in question could in fact be the new M140i that has simply been withheld from actual confirmation so as to avoid broader speculation or enquires. Without electrification, expect it to keep the mentioned four-pot though as the UKL2 platform it shares with various Mini models can only accommodate four-cylinder engines displacing up to 2.0-litres.