“We are thinking, could there be a role for an xDrive model in a performance capacity?" said BMW Australia's head of product and market planning, Toni Andreevski. "As this is something that people could understand even if they’re not driving in the snow.
“One idea we could look at would be to offer xDrive on our M135i, where you get an even faster acceleration time with xDrive.”
BMW will likely need to respond to the upcoming Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG high-performance hatch, priced from $74,900 and capable of sprinting from 0-100km/h is just 4.6 seconds.
The 235kW/450Nm turbocharged 3.0-litre, six-cylinder, turbocharged BMW M135i needs 4.9 seconds to reach 100km/h and is priced from $68,400 ($72,400 for the auto version) plus on-road costs.
The 265kW/450Nm turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder A45 AMG will also feature all-wheel drive and a quick-shifting seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, against the M135i’s rear-wheel-drive and optional eight-speed automatic box.
When pushed on the subject of when we might see an M135i xDrive in Australia, Andreevski replied, “Well it probably won’t be this year, or even 2014 – and that’s if we do it.”