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A potent version of the BMW 1 Series from its M-division has long been speculated and further denied, although as these spy shots reveal the performance flagship is indeed in development.

Perhaps spurred on by the success of the BMW 135i Coupe, it seems BMW has finally given an M version the green light and the results should be nothing short of spectacular.

Despite the retro BMW camouflage, it can be seen that the front air-dam resembles the aggressive face of its much bigger brother – the BMW X6 M.

This is complimented by massively pumped guards front and rear which house the mesh-design wheels.

Any doubt that this is the newest model from BMW’s M-division subsides after just one look at the enormous brake package comprising bigger callipers and cross drilled rotors.

With the standard BMW 135i already churning out 225kW, early estimates suggest the power levels of the M version will exceed 260kW.

The dilemma which BMW is now facing is what name to give to its newest performance model, with the M1 nameplate already reserved for the brand’s stillborn supercar flagship.

  • david jones

    you forgot limited slip diff you can see the cooling fins in the pic, most likely from the M3 with a wider track, looks like some negative camber on the rear. I would suggest 1M following the X5M. Can’t wait.

  • Valet Dabess

    i like the interior of the 1 series better then the 3 series

  • Luke

    BMWs seem to be spied all the time. Do they just not care?

    • Baddass

      I’d say they are fully aware of spy photographers, and want their cars seen testing. Why else would they put on that eye-catching camouflage?

      • jimmy james

        In fact, some may even go so far as to suggest that car companies plant such photos on the net, to build buzz around a forthcoming product. This is particularly effective when a rival company is likely to beat you to market with a competing vehicle. Its a way of saying…don’t buy their car…wait until you get a load of our car when its released!

        But of course this is pure speculation and can’t be proven….;-)

        • Camski

          Thumbs up jimmy james, personally, i’d say you were on the money ;)

  • Dale

    I wonder when they plan on releasing it and how much of a premium it will be over the 135i. I’ve been looking at buying a 135i but now it might be worthwhile holding off for the 1 Series M.

    • Baddass

      Reports say it will be around the 90k mark when it comes out, as will it’s competitor the Audi RS3.

      • Dale

        Cheers Badass, appreciate the info!

  • Ray Stone

    Dale, I’ve got a 135i, the thing is seriously fast and unless you intend racing the M I’d keep the $’s. With bigger wheels, tyres and sports suspension can only assume it will ride even harder than the standard 135i. Don’t forget to add at least $10 -20K to whatever is quoted, it is a BMW after all.

    • Dale

      Thanks Ray. Yes, I’m not likely to track it, and bragging rights definitely isn’t my aim, so as long as the 135i is rewarding to drive, then I’ll be happy. I test drove one 2 weeks ago, and it had a good balance of performance and comfort. Although I didn’t really get to drive it on our worst roads, so can’t form a conclusive view on the comfort factor. Perhaps you can enlighten me based on your experience? Also, what’s rearward visibility like? The C pillar doesn’t look nearly as bulky as most coupes, so I’m hoping the blind spots aren’t too bad.

      • Ray Stone

        Dale, it’s certainly rewarding to drive. Comfort wise, seats are good, suspension on normal surfaces is good. You do get a sharp response from potholes and the like due to the run flats. Mine are the original tyres, 2 years old, and I believe the newer generation of run flats are much better, i.e. forgiving. Re the C pillar, have not noticed any problem, you’d have to be a contortionist to turn around that far to see them, besides the mirrors are very good. Boot is surprisingly good, with seats down I fit 2 full sets of golf clubs. I got the auto, given a choice again I’d go for the manual. Nothing wrong with the auto, just this car deserves a manual box and the involvement of changing gears. Anything else? Happy to comment.

        • Dale

          Sounds like I should take up golf! The sport, not the car ;)

          Thanks again for your feedback. I tested a few cars, and it seems Audi has lost their touch with steering feel, and even interior design which previously they have been known to be one of the best at (they seem to over complicate it, whereas in the past they kept with the very ‘German’ simple and pursposeful approach). So as a current Audi owner, I will be saying farewell to the brand, at least for now. The BMW interiors are more to my liking, as is their focus on rewarding driveability. So that narrows my decision down to the 135i and current Z4 sDrive30i, which I’m yet to test drive. The 135i was great, I only wish they had a manual test car as it’d be interesting to get a feel for the pedal placement for heel-and-toe purposes. The steering feedback reminded me of the days when I drove an Integra Type R, perfection. The Z4 will lack the punch of the 135i, given that I’d be going for the 3.0 non turbo model, but damn it’s sexy…again 0-100km/h isn’t most important to me, the driving dynamics are, so we’ll see how it performs on that front, before making a very difficult decision.

          How’s the fuel consumption been? I know we don’t really buy sports cars aiming to be frugal on fuel, nevertheless it’s interesting to note.

        • joel

          surely the auto 135i would have sports shift up and down gear change.

          • Dale

            Joel, it does (paddle shifters), however I think what Ray is getting at is that a traditional stick manual provides a more involving experiencing, like you’re ‘one with the car’ (as corny as that sounded).

            Ray, I replied to your last post, however it’s awaiting moderation, so hopefully you’ll be able to see it shortly.

  • Matty B

    I highly doubt there will be an M version. In all likely hood this is 135is. Just like that have done with the Z4.


    i have a bad feeling it’s gonna cost over 100k

  • Dale

    Joel, it does (paddle shifters), however I think what Ray is getting at is that a traditional stick manual provides a more involving experiencing, like you’re ‘one with the car’ (as corny as that sounded).

    Ray, I replied to your last post, however it’s awaiting moderation, so hopefully you’ll be able to see it shortly.

  • The Realist

    Gee FWD Ford Focus RS or this RWD puppy?

  • Devil’s Advocate

    I don’t know if I would call this a true “M” car in the same mould as the M3, M5 and M6. It appears to be more of a “tuned by M”/”M lite” like the X5M. Plus it also misses out on the now “M” car signature quad exhaust pipes and front guard grills. :-)