Hot hatch fans, here’s something from Munich for you. BMW will be bringing this Concept M135i to Geneva, to be unveiled alongside the first BMW M Performance cars. M Performance is a new line of cars that slots between standard BMW models and M cars such as the M3 and M5 – read more about it here.
The M135i has the Concept name in it, but that’s should be the only thing concept about it. Based on the new second gen F20 1-Series, it features a straight six-cylinder petrol engine. Is that a big deal, you ask? Well, the new F20 range follows the downsizing route and every engine on offer has just four cylinders.
The most powerful One on sale now is the 125i, powered by a 2.0L turbo four making 218 hp and 310 Nm. This one does 0 to 100 km/h in 6.4 seconds with a 6-speed manual or 6.5 seconds with an 8-speed auto.
So, if the M135i clears this bar, which it will of course, the ultimate 1-Series will be a supercar chasing pocket rocket. The only thing BMW is telling is that the straight-six features “M Performance Twin Power Turbo technology with a power output of more than 300 hp”. It’s RWD, but reports mention a possible 4WD option. For an example of what the folks at M can do with a small package, read up on the 1-Series M Coupe, the spiritual successor to the E30 BMW M3.
Other elements are model-specific suspension technology that includes an M sports braking system with 360 mm rotors up front and 350 mm units for the rear. 18-inch M light alloys with a double spoke design add to looks and performance. BMW says that M Performance automobiles have “noticeably increased agility, precisely controllable handling characteristics and an emotional design”.
By the way, this is the first time we’re seeing a three-door F20, since BMW launched just the five-door last year. This Concept M135i gets large air intakes (to match the new cooling requirements), the 3D designed flaps on the air intakes, the specific design of the rear end, and a rear apron finished in Dark Shadow metallic.
The latter accommodates the exhaust system’s double tailpipes. The mirror caps are in Ferric Grey and side window surrounds in BMW Individual High Gloss Shadow Line.