World Premier: BMW M135i Concept

What can we say aside from we love the idea of it. Hatches always have offered something more in terms of functionality when compared to sedans but for one reason or another they have not received a performance treatment from BMW. Audi and VW have hot hatches as does MINI with the JCW but never BMW, until now. BMW has chosen to reveal the all new 3 door 1 Series in a specialized form, the M Performance version. Said to be sportier looking and performing compared to its five-door counterpart this “concept ” is what many have been looking for. It will more than likely feature the up-tuned N55 inline six- the “40i ” model or power kit version of the engine as it is known outside the M Performance line of cars. Therefore expect something close to 320 hp with perhaps even some M specific software to give it a touch more character.

The M135i takes the formula that BMW had been using for the “IS ” models and pushes it further with other M Specific touches as well. The car will likely feature M ‘s new six piston set-up that is optional on the 3 Series in M Sport configuration. Finally helping the car around corners will likely be a M specific tweaking of the suspension.

We know all to well that the majority of BMW “Concepts ” are near production versions of the car soon to hit the market so we would imagine that if it were to lose the stripes the car should be almost identical to those on showroom floors this summer. This of course being a hatch will not make its way to the good old US of A as people apparently won ‘t buy them or so it is rumored after the E36 debacle.

However don ‘t be surprised to see a coupe version of this car on US ordering sheets within the next 18 months.

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Top athlete for the premium compact segment: The BMW Concept M135i.

Official Release: 24.02.2012: BMW presents the concept study of a BMW M Performance automobile featuring a six-cylinder petrol engine – consistent further development of the new BMW 1 Series’ dynamic characteristics – world premiere at the 2012 Geneva International Motor Show. Munich. Simultaneously with the world premiere of the first BMW M Performance automobiles, BMW’s concept study of a further model from this new product category will be showcased on the media days (6 – 7 March 2012) at this year’s Geneva International Motor Show. The BMW Concept M135i consistently utilises the dynamic potential of the new BMW 1 Series for the concept of the first BMW M Performance automobile featuring a straight six-cylinder petrol engine. The body design of the BMW Concept M135i assigns the youthful and sporty looks of the new BMW 1 Series to a three-door compact model, complementing it with the distinctive athleticism so typical of a BMW M Performance automobile.

Concept study with characteristics typical of a BMW M Performance automobile.

With its sporty appearance, the compact three-door car authentically conveys the typical qualities of BMW Performance automobiles to yet another vehicle segment. BMW M Performance automobiles offer an ideal symbiosis of outstanding performance and everyday suitability. Using the expertise gained by the BMW M division from decades of motor racing experience, the supreme performance of its tremendously powerful engines specifically designed to suit each model, the meticulously modified suspension technology and the aerodynamic characteristics are all combined into a harmonious overall concept. As a result, BMW M Performance automobiles have noticeably increased agility, precisely controllable handling characteristics and an emotional design. One look at the BMW Concept M135i and the qualities crucial to that characteristic M Performance feeling are instantly evident.

The employment of a straight six-cylinder petrol power plant featuring M Performance Twin Power Turbo technology with a power output of more than 300 hp creates the ideal prerequisites for maximum dynamics in the premium compact segment and, in conjunction with rear-wheel drive concept still unique in this vehicle class, ensures unsurpassed driving pleasure so typical of a BMW.

Moreover, the characteristic handling precision of BMW M Performance automobiles is obtained through model-specific suspension technology that includes an M sports braking system and is perfectly adapted to match the supreme road performance. 18-inch M light alloys with a double spoke design additionally complement the concept car’s sporting character.

Body features typical M athletic design.

The front apron of the concept car boasts a typical M design, signalising intensive road-orientation, its large air intakes designed to match the cooling requirement of the powerful engine, ancillary components and large brakes. The three-dimensionally designed flaps on the air intakes give indication of the car’s direct association with motor racing.

In addition to intense road-orientation, the specific design of the rear end of the BMW Concept M135i emphasises above all the vehicle’s width. This is supplemented in particular by the three-dimensional modelling of the surfaces and the lower section of the rear apron finished in Dark Shadow metallic. Furthermore, the rear apron accommodates the exhaust system’s double tailpipe that features a dark chrome trim.

The BMW Concept M135i’s exterior mirror caps in Ferric Grey and side window surrounds in BMW Individual High Gloss Shadow Line are a further feature of BMW M Performance automobiles.

Dynamic, stretched appearance. Concept study of the three-door BMW 1 Series.

Compared with the silhouette of the five-door BMW 1 Series, the three-door BMW Concept M135i makes an even more sporting and elegant statement. On the whole, the car has a more dynamic and elongated appearance. Viewed from the side, the car’s athletic, low-slung appearance and its nearness to the road are even more intensely expressed by an entirely horizontal contour line in the area of the doorsills. A dynamically rising character line symbolises the BMW Concept M135i’s urge to move forwards.

The wide doors are a further characteristic feature of the BMW Concept M135i’s body design. Together with the rear side windows, the frameless windows form a coherent window surface reaching back to the rear end, accentuating the body’s dynamically stretched appearance.

In addition, the surface design in the area of the rear side panels helps above all to emphasise the powerfully flared wheel arches. The visual accentuation of this part of the body directs the eye to the rear wheels, where the power of the six-cylinder power plant is transformed into driving dynamics in typical BMW manner.

Attractive prospects for the further development of the BMW 1 Series model range.

Thanks to a distinctively sports-oriented appearance, the BMW Concept M135i offers attractive prospects for the further development of the BMW 1 Series model range. At the same time, a clear signal has been given for the expansion of the new product category of BMW M Performance automobiles. The BMW M Performance automobiles being presented at the Geneva Motor Show and shortly to be launched are powered by the world’s most high-performing six-cylinder diesel engine available for series production vehicles. The petrol-fuelled models in this product category will also assume a similar unique position. The pre-series concept car BMW Concept M135i offers a fascinating outlook on a corresponding offer in the premium compact segment.

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  • Dr Obnxs

    If BMW makes this and doesn’t bring it to the US they are just being plain stupid. One of the great things about a lot of “hot hatches” is that one gets great performance AND utility. Saying that they don’t sell ignores the sales numbers of MINI, GTIs, WRXs and lots of other cars.

    With the ability to ride on the 1M coat-tails, this would be a great car to push for BMW, and to own for the driver.

    • Anonymous

      It’s not coming. BMWNA has no interest in bringing hatches to the US.

      • Exactly said. the U.S. market isn’t interested in such cars, neither am I. 

        • Anonymous

          I am.

  • HERR26

    The US Market will not receive the 3dr or 5dr Sporthatch in either standard or M135i format.

    However they will receive a smiliar model in the BMW X1 xDrive M35i which will use the engine seen in the car showcased here but in the more US friendly X1 SAV bodystyle.

    Although they do not share the same platform as each other. BMW M. are working on the key distinctive elements that make an M. Performance automobile stand out for the X1.  Expect refocused Steering and reworked suspension and software updates to make this X1 more distinctive and worthy of M. Performance automobiles. The overall appearance is typical M Performance. With identical wheels , Ferric finishes and distinctive aerodynamic kits.  

    The Coupe and Cabrio will come as the 2er and again as M Performance models. And will come to the US Market once again. 

    The production BMW 1er Sporthatch in standard and M. Performance format will make their World Premiere ironically in their manufacturing base in Leipzig and the AMI in June.

    • Anonymous

      X1 = 4dr SAV. Not the same. No thanks.

  • Dr Obnxs

    Oh well…. After my last trip to Europe, I was jonesing for a 5 door 1 series diesel…. Another great car that we don’t get. I guess I’ll have to just get used to being the odd-man out when it comes to BMWs.

    I do find it interesting that BMW will choose to micro-fragment the market with 3 doors, 4 doors, GTs and X series of many of thier platforms, yet won’t do the hatches. Seems an odd sort of logic. But it does leave lots of room at the bottom for the MINIs….


  • Jason Kay

    possibly the best looking 1series to date. Give it the ful M treatment, and it may give the Z3M “breadvan” a run for it’s money.

  • m8o

    RE: E36 debacle … Dang nabbit!  Why the heck would BMW USA be making any decisions in regards to the 1-series hatch base on history of the E36 hatch?  Maybe it was a ‘debacle’ ‘cuz everyone else thought the same thing; that is was one fugly under-powered vehicle.  This hopped-up 1-series very much reminds me of the much lauded M Coupe that I just so happen to be reminded of in one of the most recent blog posts here.

  • Anonymous

    I still feel this bumpy M front fascia is not as pleasing as the basic 1 series fronts. Oh well, pour on the posturing body lines, soon you will be a Trans Am or Z28…