2011 135i (N55)

In the final installment of Scott27 ‘s February update he spills what he know on the next generation 1 Series Coupe. It ‘s a good read but we wanted to make it a little better by combining it with some of our own information to give you the following report.

The Coupe and Convertible 1 Series has sold fairly well in the US. However there is some thought among BMWNA brass that the 135i wasn ‘t given enough differentiation over the 128i and thus didn ‘t sell as well as it could have. With more time to develop the shape of the coupe and the offerings of the 135i model in particular we expect BMW to go more aggressive with the new car. Specifically we expect BMW to fit a more powerful N55 (320 hp perhaps) with a more aggressive 135i specific bodykit.


BMW is keen to keep the proportion just right. The current E82 is almost as perfect as possible a reinterpretation of the classic E30 proportions (despite the “sow ” line that can be a problem for some). Speaking of that line on the lower portion of the door you can wave goodbye to it with the new car. In total the new coupe and convertible will be wider, longer and very slightly taller than the current car.

The next Cabrio will carry over that straight forward clean appearance of the current car with the new design but will retain it ‘s quick and lightweight soft top roof keeping costs and weight down.

But what will BMW call the cars? The rumor has been that BMW is looking to change the F22 and F23 name to the 2 Series. The idea is that it would help avoid confusion with the new family of FWD models also marketed under the 1 Series brand. It would also help in moving the cars slightly upmarket to correspond with a much higher level of premium options that will be available. Having seen the interior of the new 1er first-hand while in Munich last year, I can tell you that BMW is clearly trickling down the look and feel of it ‘s highest models (specifically the 5 and 7 series) to the new 1. From the buttons to the layout the new Series feels very grown-up and very much a premium small car.

As expect motivating all of this will be a range of engines from the new 3 cylinder family of turbo-charged engines to the N55 equipped 135i. In the US we expect a 128i 240 hp + four cylinder turbo and a 135i 300 hp + inline six turbo.

What does this all mean for the next generation 1M you ask? While details are scarce we expect the car to become slightly more tame (ie less wide rear fenders) due to a longer development cycle and less of a need to reuse the very wide M3 subframe and suspension. What about engines? M could use a high performance twin turbo four cylinder in place of a six cylinder to keep costs and weight down. But would buyers give up more power for less weight? It ‘s an intriguing thought but one that is very much rumor at this point. In fact the only thing we can say for certain is that the car won ‘t use the N54 engine in the current 1M.