The 312-HP BMW M135: A Hot Hatch Not Available in the US

The BMW M135i: A Closer Look


European car enthusiasts have long enjoyed a plethora of high-performance hatchbacks like the Audi S3 Sportback and the Mercedes-AMG A45. BMW adds to this impressive lineup with the latest iteration of the BMW M135i, a hot hatchback that brings significant changes to the entry-level model. With a new design, updated technology, and powerful engine options, the M135i is set to make a mark in the performance hatchback segment.

Evolution in Design

The exterior of the new BMW M135i showcases evolutionary design changes while retaining the recognizable 1 Series identity. The front end features sharper-looking headlights, and the rear taillights resemble those found on the latest X2 model. A quad exhaust system, borrowed from the X1 M35i and X2 M35i, gives the M135i a sporty appearance. BMW is also signaling the end of the “i” in the model names for its gas-powered vehicles, as evidenced by the simplified “M135” designation on the tailgate.

Interior Upgrades and Technology

Stepping inside the cabin of the M135i reveals a significant departure from the previous generation. The latest iDrive 9 infotainment system boasts dual screens, with a digital instrument cluster measuring 10.25 inches and a touchscreen display of 10.7 inches. Traditional buttons have been replaced by touch controls, and the gear lever has been replaced by a smaller selector to create a more minimalist interior aesthetic. The M135i also features body-hugging front seats with illuminated M branding, reminiscent of full-fledged M models.

Powerful Performance Options

Under the hood, the BMW M135i packs the latest iteration of the B48 engine, a turbocharged 2.0-liter gasoline mill producing 296 horsepower in regions with strict emissions regulations. In other markets, the engine can unlock up to 312 hp, similar to the X1 M35i and X2 M35i. With 295 lb-ft of torque, the M135i can sprint to 62 mph in 4.9 seconds and reach a top speed of 155 mph. In addition to the performance-focused M135i, the 1 Series also offers other engine options, including a 1.5-liter turbo three-cylinder mild-hybrid and a 2.0-liter turbo diesel.

Future Possibilities

Despite the absence of plug-in hybrid or fully electric versions of the 1 Series, BMW is set to premier the 2 Series Gran Coupe (F74) later this year with similar technical specifications and a US release. The M235 is expected to be available from the start in the American market. The new BMW 1 Series will go on sale in Europe in October after production begins in Leipzig, Germany.


The BMW M135i represents a new era for the entry-level model, offering enhanced performance, updated design elements, and cutting-edge technology. As part of BMW’s lineup of high-performance hatchbacks, the M135i is sure to attract enthusiasts looking for a thrilling driving experience with the practicality of a hatchback. With its powerful engine options and modern interior features, the M135i is set to make a strong impact in the competitive hot hatch segment.

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