With so many new models making big headlines as of late, it’s easy to forget about some of BMW’s more recent future classics. One of them is the BMW E82 135i Coupe. The E82 platform has been adored by BMW fans ever since it came out, especially in the ultra-rare and special BMW 1M Coupe guise.
But not everyone was lucky enough to snatch one of the 6,300 BMW 1M Coupe models and because prices of used 1Ms are rising, it’s getting even harder to get one second-hand? For enthusiasts that want a similar experience but either can’t afford a 1M or can’t find one, there’s another option — the BMW 135i. The lesser 1er used the same N54 3-liter straight six turbocharged engine under the hood, just with a couple of noticeable differences, for pre-facelift models. After the LCI facelift, from 2010 onwards, the BMW 135i used the even more popular N55 engine.
It’s the original we’re interested in here though, as it shared a lot with the 1M. For BMW 135i-spec, the N54 engine used only one turbocharger and made 302 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. That wasn’t terribly far from the 335 horsepower and 331 lb-ft of the 1M. Both cars could be had with a manual gearbox too and they were a peach to drive. As the video below shows, the 135i also has a lot of tuning potential.
The guys from BR-Performance took this particular 135i from what it was making (namely 271 HP and 390 Nm) to 402 horsepower and 415 lb-ft of torque with a Stage 2 upgrade. That means they changed out the ECU map and made some hardware changes, even though they don’t mention exactly what. Most likely the intake and exhaust have been modified to handle the new specs. With those numbers, this little beast could tackle some serious competition. The only problem is, the N54 engines aren’t exactly the most reliable out there and that water pump will have to work extra hard now.