BMW has responded to powerful new rivals with updates for the M5 and M6 - including a racy new 575hp Competition Package option
BMW reveals hot 320hp M135i
BMW has revealed a new high-performance version of the 1 Series that becomes the first petrol-powered model in the brand's BMW M Performance line. The M135i produces an impressive 320hp courtesy of a 3.0-litre straight six turbo engine, making it one of the most powerful 'hot hatches' on sale.
On Bing: images of the BMW 1 Series
The new BMW M135i is offered in both five-door and new three-door guise, and becomes easily the most sporting new 1 Series yet launched. On sale now, the new BMW M135i costs £27,510 as a five-door or £29,995 as a three-door.
What does the new BMW M135i look like?
The BMW M135i is the most sporting new 1 Series and carries some distinctive new body features. Most obvious is the revised front end, which has large air intake vents and a sharply sculpted lower front apron.
There are 3D flaps on the outer air vents of the front apron - these actually sit where the fog lights of lesser models do. They also carry M Performance-specific Ferric Grey metallic horizontal struts.
Eighteen-inch M double-spoke alloy wheels sit astride chunkier side sills, while the rear apron has a dark metallic finish and boasts dual exhaust pipes. The M135i also gets distinctive Ferric Grey-capped door mirrors, and is offered in the special BMW M Estoril Blue colour pictured here.
What is the BMW M135i like inside?
BMW fits its distinctive Hexagon and Alcantara upholstery, which, like the M leather steering wheel, has blue accent stitching. There is also an Anthracite rooflining and Aluminium Hexagon dashboard trim - again, with either matt Estoril Blue or high-gloss black trim.
The dials have red markings and the interior lighting is variable: the car key itself also has blue detailing. Of course, the BMW trademark door sill finishers carry 'M135i' branding.
What engine powers the BMW M135i?
The 320hp 3.0-litre straight-six turbo petrol engine uses BMW's TwinPower Turbo technology: it has twin scroll turbo, high-precision direct injection, Valvetronic variable valve control and double VANOS variable camshaft timing.
The M135i's 320hp is produced at 5,800rpm: this is complemented by a very impressive 331lb ft of torque, producing between 1,300-4,500rpm. This means the M135i is likely to feel very powerful and responsive on the road, and won't just be all about high-rev drama.
The M135i's 320hp is produced at 5,800rpm
To ensure it sounds sporty, BMW has tuned the engine sound of the six-cylinder engine, and fitted it with sporty M performance control technology. Two gearboxes are available, a new six-speed manual (with novel dry sump lubrication) or an eight-speed automatic with steering wheel paddleshifters.
The BMW M135i can accelerate from 0-62mph in 5.1 seconds and has a limited top speed of 155mph. The eight-speed automatic version is even faster, breaking the five-second barrier by reaching 62mph from rest in 4.9 seconds.
The manual BMW M135i averages 35.5mpg and emits 188g/km CO2. The automatic is more economical still, averaging 37.6mpg and emitting 175g/km CO2.
How will the BMW M135i drive?
The BMW M135i has model-specific suspension that has more focused spring and damper settings, plus bespoke tuning of the front axle elastokinematics. As the 1 Series is already one of the sportiest compact hatchbacks on sale, this means the M135i should feel like a very driver-orientated hot hatch out on the road.
BMW fits a variable sports steering system and a fixed caliper M Sport brake system: at the front are four-piston calipers finished in dark blue metallic and branded with the M logo: they also have oversized brake discs.
The M135i also gets its own tyre solution - the 18-inch wheels are fitted with 225/40-section tyres at the front, and gripper 245/35-section tyres at the rear. This will ensure the powerful rear-wheel-drive car has enough traction to maximise its ample performance.
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