BMW has announced that it plans to add a new model to its M Performance Automobile line. The M135i three-door will essentially be a redesigned 1 Series small hatchback fitted with a more powerful 320 horsepower inline-six engine and M-tuned suspension. The current 1 Series comes with a choice of either a four-cylinder gasoline or diesel engine.
The new M135i’s engine will be paired with either a manual six-speed or automatic eight-speed transmission. The new M model will also feature a revamped body kit and interior and will ride on 18-inch wheels.
BMW said the new M135i will have 0-60 acceleration under 4.9 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph.
The automaker does not plan to sell the new M135i in the U.S. American consumers will have to wait for the launch of the redesigned 1 Series three door, which will be available in three flavors; Sport, Urban and M Sport.
The new 1 Series will reportedly will be 85mm longer and 30mm wider than the current version to provide more rear legroom and cargo space. Buyers will also have the option of having either two or three rear seats. BMW will also make the new 1 Series available in coupe and convertible body styles. A spokesman for the company said, “We have no plans to bring the three-door to the U.S. in any configuration.”
The new 1 Series will feature an array of driver-assistance goodies, including adaptive headlights, lane departure warning technology, cruise control, parking assist, rear collision warning, high-beam assistant and a rearview camera.
The M135i will be the first M model to be available as either rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Other M models, including the M3 and M5, have only been available with rear-wheel drive transmissions.
BMW has also given the M treatment to the turbodiesel variants of the X5 sedans and X6 SUV. For some purists, the new M135i represents a watering down of the M designation when compared with the 1 Series M Coupe which featured a 335 horsepower engine and placed a premium on performance at the expense of refinement.
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