The fans’ favorite BMW M140i with a rear-wheel drive setup is now history. The new boss of the new F40 BMW 1 Series family is the M135i xDrive. Using the front-wheel drive architecture from BMW, the new hot hatch is still sending power to all four wheels, but this time, from a 2.0 liter four-cylinder turbo engine. This engine is the BMW Group’s most powerful four-cylinder engine, extracting 225 kW (306 hp) between 5,000 and 6,250 rpm and has a peak torque of 450 Nm (332 lb-ft) 1,750 rpm and stays there up to 4,500 rpm. The flagship model races to 100 km/h (62 mph) from rest in just 4.8 seconds (4.7 seconds with M Performance package), while top speed is limited to 250 km/h (155 mph).
The BMW M135i xDrive makes do with 7.1 – 6.8 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (39.8 – 41.5 mpg imp) on the combined cycle and emits just 162 – 155 grams of CO2 per kilometer.
To achieve these figures, a few tricks were performed by the engineers in Munich. A reinforced crankshaft drive featuring a main bearing with a larger diameter, new pistons with an altered compression ratio and modified con rods with non- bushed ends provides the necessary basis for the power unleashed by the BMW M135i xDrive. A larger turbocharger featuring a built-in exhaust manifold and integral diverter valve increases engine output and is thermodynamically efficient at exhaust temperatures of up to 1,025 degrees Celsius. Modified injectors have also been fitted to increase the flow volume. The capacity of the cooling package has been maximized with an independent transmission oil cooler that is separated from the engine’s coolant circuit, an electric 850-watt fan, two remote coolant radiators in the wheel arches and an enlarged expansion tank.
A newly developed twin-pipe exhaust is also standard, with tailpipes measuring 100 millimeters in diameter. Some of the sound is still fed into the cabin by the BMW Active Sound Design system.
The M Sport model and standard specification for the BMW M135i xDrive include the M Sport steering wheel and the Trigon/Sensatec sports seats in Black. This upholstery variant is enhanced with special BMW M piping and contrast blue stitching. For the sports seats, the Dakota leather is available in Black, Black with blue highlights and Magma Red with grey highlights. And BMW 1 Series customers can now order the M Sport model and BMW M135i xDrive with M Sport seats featuring an integral head restraint and extendable seat cushion. These are also available with upholstery in Trigon cloth and Alcantara, as well as Dakota leather in Black and Magma Red.
The M135i xDrive is the only model variant to feature the BMW kidney grille in a distinctive mesh design. Its surround and three-dimensional elements come in Cerium Grey, likewise the additional model-specific trim of the outer air intakes and the mirror caps. Like the BMW M rear apron, the other elements of the exterior mirrors come in High-gloss Black. As with M Sport specification, the window graphic surrounds adopt BMW Individual high-gloss Shadow Line trim, while the M135i xDrive also comes exclusively with a BMW M rear spoiler in body color.
Standard specification for the sporty BMW M135i xDrive includes a newly developed mechanical Torsen limited-slip differential. The differential is integrated into the standard-fit eight-speed Steptronic Sport transmission on the BMW M135i xDrive and also features a Launch Control mode that already puts the full peak torque of 450 Nm (332 lb-ft) on tap in first and second gear.
In addition to the tower-to-tower strut fitted on all models, the M135i xDrive benefits from additional bracing at its front end and in the tunnel area, plus an anti-roll bar mounting with high preload. This all combines with the standard Sport suspension and the M Sport steering with its more direct ratio and even sharper response. Meanwhile, the M Sport brakes offer adequate stopping power at all times.
BMW M135i xDrive is delivered from the factory with bespoke polished 18-inch light-alloy items. Newly designed 19-inch light-alloy wheels are optionally available for this and the M Sport model.