The new 5 Series / i5 will be BMW’s most important reveal this year but there are other product launches we’re eager to see. Case in point, the 1 Series will receive the LCI treatment and that will include the M135i as well. Seen here are a couple of prototypes portraying the M Performance model undergoing cold-weather testing near the Arctic Circle.

Although the vehicles were fully camouflaged, it’s easy to see they’re M135i hot hatches since both had a quad exhaust system with surprisingly large tips. In case you’ve missed the memo, the more aggressive exhaust setup is trickling down to M Lite cars. The first-ever X1 M35i will receive the same configuration once it’ll break cover later this year.

The second half of the spy video is dedicated to prototypes of the regular 1 Series. You can see their front wheels spinning on the icy surface at one point, reminding us BMW’s smallest car has lost its RWD setup with the latest generation. Despite the bulky disguise, all cars are giving us the impression the Life Cycle Impulse will bring a subtle evolution of the exterior design.

Bigger changes will take place on the inside where the 1er will switch to the side-by-side screens already implemented in many models. While the X1 and 2 Series Active Tourer currently run on iDrive 8, BMW has already announced plans to transition its smallest vehicles to the Android Automotive-based iDrive 9. Chances are the 1 Series LCI will skip iDrive 8 altogether and jump to the latest operating system.

Details about the changes planned underneath the hood are limited, although we’ve heard the B48 powering the M135i will be updated. Rumor has it the turbocharged 2.0-liter gasoline will be massaged to deliver somewhere in the region of 315 horsepower. It’s unclear whether torque will be bumped as well over the current 332 pound-feet (450 Newton-meters).

Just so we’re clear, a fully fledged M version of the 1 Series is not coming as BMW M has made it crystal clear it won’t launch a true M derivative of a car based on a front-wheel-drive platform.

Source: CarSpyMedia / YouTube