BMW M135i (2012) first official pictures

Published: 14 May 2012

This is the new BMW M135i, a 316bhp hot hatch and the fifth model to emerge from BMW's new M Performance Automobiles tuning arm. We've already seen the 5-series (in saloon and Touring guises) and the X5 and X6 with triple-turbo diesel engines from this new sub-division of BMW's infamous M Division, but the M135i the first petrol offering. The M135i was previewed by a concept car at the 2012 Geneva motor show earlier this year, and the production version is little different.

What do we know about the new BMW M135i?

The M135i is powered by a turbocharged 3.0-litre straight-six producing 316bhp. That’s 19bhp less than the limited-run 1-series M Coupe, but the M135i produces the same 332lb ft, this time from 1300-4500rpm rather than 1500-4500rpm. It’s all sent to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox, but as BMW M Performance Automobiles is about offering an expanded and more accessible line-up, the M135i can also be specced with an eight-speed automatic. And BMW’s four-wheel drive system. But we hear the latter hasn't been engineered for right-hand drive so they'll be no UK sales of the M135i xDrive.

To distinguish the M135i from lesser 1-series (especially those sporting the M Sport package) there’s a chunky front spoiler which ditches the front fogs for extra air intakes. The strakes in the front bumper are grey, as are the door mirror caps (both are an M Performance Automobiles signature), 18in wheels are standard, and there are also bigger sills and a new rear bumper sporting twin exhausts. Inside there’s cloth and Alcantara trim on the seats, M Performance touches include a new steering wheel, gearstick and handbrake, plus a unique instruments cluster.

The 3.0-litre straight-six features an upgraded cooling system on the 135i, a unique ECU and special engine sound tuning. There’s been an overhaul of the suspension too, BMW’s Variable Sports Steering system is standard but with a M135i-specific tune, and there are bigger brakes (four-piston front, two-piston rear, all with blue calipers). It's £29,995 when sales start this autumn.

The launch of the M135i coincides with the reveal of the 1-series in three-door guise, but the M135i will also be sold as a five-door model.

So what about the rest of the three-door 1-series range?

Essentially it’s a three-door version of the five-door 1-series model that’s already on sale. It’s 85mm longer than before, sits on a 30mm longer wheelbase, is 17mm wider but no taller at 1421mm. Sales stars on 22 September 2012 (along with M135i) and will usher in new range of engine models. Everything but 114i and 116d EfficientDynamics Edition can be had with an eight-speed automatic, the 120d has the option of XDrive (except for the UK), and you can spec two or three rear seats.

Highlights include a Golf GTI-chasing 215bhp 125i (£25,540 and only available in M Sport trim), a fuel-sipping 116d ED that produces just 99g/km CO2 (£20,335) while the cheapest model is the £17,380 114i ES.

M135i 125i 116i 114i
ENGINE 3.0 6-cyl turbo 2.0 4-cyl turbo 1.6 4-cyl turbo 1.6 4-cyl turbo
POWER (bhp) 316 215 134 101
TORQUE (lb ft) 332 229 162 113
0-62MPH (seconds) 5.1/4.9 (auto) 6.4/6.2 8.5/8.7 11.2
TOP SPEED (mph) 156 153/152 131 122
FUEL ECONOMY (mpg) 35.3/37.7 (auto) 42.8/44.1 51.3/50.5 51.3
EMISSIONS (CO2) 188/175 (auto) 154/149 129/131 129

 

125d 118d 116d 116d ED
ENGINE 2.0 4-cyl TD 2.0 4-cyl TD 2.0 4-cyl TD 1.6 4-cyl TD
POWER (bhp) 215 141 114 114
TORQUE (lb ft) 332 236 192 192
0-62MPH (seconds) 6.5/6.3 8.9/8.6 10.3 10.5
TOP SPEED (mph) 150 132 125 112
FUEL ECONOMY (mpg) 57.7/58.9 64.2 65.7/64.2 74.3
EMISSIONS (CO2) 129/126 115/116 114/115 99

                                        

                               

By Ben Pulman

CAR's editor-at-large, co-ordinator, tallboy

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