BMW 135is. “The last of the classic Bimmers”

1-series | June 23rd, 2013 by 11
BMW 135is 750x500

Next year, BMW will phase out the 135is coupe which will be replaced by the new 2 Series family and most likely by an M235i …

Next year, BMW will phase out the 135is coupe which will be replaced by the new 2 Series family and most likely by an M235i model.

The super sport version of the 1 Series Coupe, dubbed BMW 135is, currently sits above the 135i model, but still below the almighty 1M. Using the same engine as the 135i, the “is” model has been tuned to 320 hp (+20 hp increase) and 317 lb-ft of torque (+17 lb.ft) while maintaining the same emissions level and MPG ratings of the 135i.

Other upgrades to the tight and compact 1 Series Coupe is a new performance exhaust system and an upgraded engine cooling system that adds a larger, and more powerful radiator fan and an auxiliary radiator.

The BMW 135is models, coupe and convertible, are offered with either a standard 6-Speed manual transmission or an optional 7-Speed Double Clutch Transmission.

BMW 135is 655x417

To some, the BMW 135is has been and still is one of the most fun, yet underrated models in the now vast BMW lineup. Its sportiness and agility makes it an interesting track car and a great commuter, and some owners, and not only, see the 135is being “The Last Of The Classic Bimmers.”

Detroit News spent some time with the car before declaring that the 135is is a modern classic bimmer.

The light, little 3,300-pound 135is coupe I drove around Detroit carries on in the exciting way BMW’s new 3 Series sedans and soon-to-arrive 4 Series coupes and convertibles are leaving behind. The 1 Series also comes as a convertible.

The TwinPower turbocharged 320-horsepower in-line six cylinder engine responds to throttle inputs without hesitation. The clutch and short-throw shift lever worked in perfect concert with the aggressively geared six-speed manual transmission. The optional transmissions include an eight-speed automatic and an automated seven-speed dual clutch.

BMW pulled the plug last year on the even sportier 1 Series M version. Fewer than 800 of the 340-horsepower pocket rockets were sold in North America. The 135is was introduced this year as its top performance replacement.

So should you buy one? Same online magazine says:

And special is what you are looking for when you buy the BMW badge. You can get a larger and more luxurious Cadillac ATS with an equally powerful engine for about $10,000 less. How about an even larger Chevrolet Camaro with more V-6 horsepower and better fuel economy for about $20,000 less?

But if you want to be seen arriving in a Bimmer, the modern classic is a 135is.

Full review

11 responses to “BMW 135is. “The last of the classic Bimmers””

  1. Dustin says:

    How did I never know that this car used a 7-speed dual clutch? Strange.

    Contrary to the Detroit News article though, it appears the DCT is the only automatic option and not an 8AT.

    Anyway, though it’s down on HP a bit, didn’t we decide a couple of months ago that the 320i ZSP + ZMT is also very much a “classic” BMW?

  2. paul says:

    how is this the last classic bmw?? if u told me the 130i NA maybe yes. the route now is turbo all across the range so no more high rev NA sweet 6 il. yes i know the iconic e30 M3 bla bla. but the “modern” classic bimmer is dead. plus lets not talk about electric steering replacing every except M cars. been a bimmer fan for 30+ years. just waiting for my new cauman to arrive. yes i also know eps but at least porsche know how to make one.

  3. paul says:

    oh forgot 1ser going fwd in next gen too. who tha fuck is on that board making these decisions?? than its death of bmw as we know it, nevermind classic

    • Adam says:

      I bet your one of those guys who thinks Porsche should only make the 911 huh? Well i suppose you can buy used E46’s E90’s and other -2009 models, but i gotta feeling after a decade many will be so pissed on by previous owners you’d walk away. Maybe Benz or Audi can accomodate you, oh wait a moment! They have a compact range as well, darn how bout Caddy? Nope same deal, Lexus well outside the IS your screwed. Ill bet Pagani enthuisasts couldnt be less bothered that the Huyra is turbo. And before you call me a new age hipster or not true enthusiast, the E36 lightweight is what started my love affair with the brand.

      Let me ask you somthing, if you were incharge of a railroad would you still have them fielding 1940’s steam locomotives? Or would u embrase what a new day has to offer.?

      • paul says:

        I ordered a caymon so what u on about me only wanting 911’s?? Why would i want a big fat poser 911 when a cayman feels sooo much better for less €€€? anyways im all for new tech, when it works!! if bm could make a proper eps and a high rev turbo i would b first to get it! I also own an E46 M3 and would never trade that beauty – dont even get me started on looks in new bmw’s and the cheap plastic front aprons and interiors -too – for ANY new bmw in the current line now. for the purpose of what I use it for. I simply want something new and fresh and feel like bmw does not cut it anymore. like alot of people out there

  4. steelydan says:

    the 135is is hardly a “classic bmw.” any “classic bmw” would have a normally aspirated engine, not a turbocharged one.

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