The Concept M135i is a three-door version of the new 1-Series and will be the first in the line-up to feature a classic BMW straight six-cylinder petrol engine with the company’s TwinPower Turbo technology. Performance data is unconfirmed at this stage, but the car will have more than 223kW of power driving the rear wheels, making it unique in the premium small-car segment.
Just like the X5 M550d and the X6 M550d from the M Performance Automobiles range, the M135i has been engineered for better handling, more agility and more overt styling to signify the added exclusivity and performance characteristics of the M Performance range.
The front and rear wheel arches are flared for a more aggressive visual profile, and there are also larger air intakes with special motorsport-like flaps for more efficient cooling of the uprated engine and brakes.
Also included is an M sports brake system and M light alloy wheels with a double-spoke design for a more distinctive look. The brake calipers are painted blue metallic in recognition of the car's performance characteristics, as with the ‘M’ badges on the side and rear panels.
The M Performance styling continues with the rear apron painted a dark shadow metallic, housing the dark chrome double tailpipes. You’ll also notice the ferric grey mirror caps and the BMW Individual high gloss side window surrounds that are another feature of the M Performance Automobiles line.
BMW calls the M135i a ‘pre-series’ concept car, so expect the series production version to appear in BMW showrooms later in 2012. BMW Australia has told CarAdvice that they would be keen to bring the car to Australia, but most likely it would be a five-door version, if available.
BMW will unveil the Concept M135i for the first time at the Geneva on March 6.