BMW Releases Specs on M135i Hot Hatchback, Complete with 320 Horsepower

By Jacob Brown | May 14, 2012
This isn't your 2013 BMW 1 Series. The U.S. isn't getting the hatchback, as BMW met less-than-rave reviews the last time the automaker sold a three-door in the States. However, what you are looking at, if you squint a little, is the future of the BMW 1 Series coupe, a car that will surely be making its introduction in the U.S. within the next year or two. When it does, the BMW M135i will likely be on the U.S. roster in some form or another. So what is it exactly, you ask. Unlike the 2012 BMW 1 Series M Coupe, the M135i is down 20 horsepower and slots into the Bavarian automaker's new "M Performance" line of vehicles. With a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 shoehorned under the hood of the 1 Series, the car's not designed to be an all-out racer like its predecessor. It's meant to be a step up from the standard cars, akin to Audi's S-Line vehicles. Furthering that notion, the BMW M135i will come with either a six-speed manual transmission or an eight-speed automatic, which is actually a little quicker to 62 mph from standstill—4.9 seconds. And that's according to BMW's oftentimes conservative estimates; the manual version hits 62 mph in 5.1 seconds.
The M135i will also be available with rear- or all-wheel drive, marking a departure from the exclusively rear-drive previous-generation car. And it'll be available in either three- or five-door configurations. BMW is teasing us with this car, its new top-range 1 Series hatchback, as it readies a coupe and convertible for the U.S. But the BMW 1 Series will likely be available with smaller engines, too, launching in Europe with range of smaller gasoline and diesel engines. Surprisingly, BMW's turbocharged 2.0-liter, 240-horsepower four-cylinder engine is not on that list. But a 170-horsepower engine in the 118i is, perhaps serving as a new, smaller base engine in the U.S. The updated range of 2013 BMW 1 Series models will be available in November, and we expect a new model to be introduced for the U.S. sometime shortly thereafter. Source: BMW