BMW phased out the M135i in 2016 to make room for the M140i, only to bring it back in 2019 for the current-generation 1 Series. However, some would argue the hot hatch on sale today is just a shadow of its former self since it has a four-cylinder engine and a front-wheel-drive-based xDrive setup. This all-black build is based on the old M135i, but massively modified to outpunch larger and more expensive M models.
YouTuber hampshirephoto had the opportunity to shoot a bonkers build with a stage 3 kit applied to a fairly standard-looking car. It’s only when you open the hood you discover the N55 engine has been subjected to massive changes. The turbocharged inline-six, 3.0-liter engine no longer develops 315 horsepower considering it has been massaged to push out a meaty 600 hp.
According to the car’s owner Ant, he’s had the car for less than a year. It didn’t take too long until the BMW M135i received a stage 1 kit before upgrading the car twice to get where it is today. From an MST Performance intake and M5 injectors to Pure Turbos and an R Sport intercooler, the hot hatch has an extensive list of mods. It’s also running on ethanol and that 600-hp output is actually electronically limited.
With so much power in a relatively small and lightweight car, it goes without saying this F20 build is a hoot to drive. It’s especially true when you into consideration it lacks a limited-slip differential, so driving it hard on a wet road takes quite a bit of courage. Not holding the steering wheel properly, especially at high speeds, is quite worrying as something could go wrong in the blink of an eye given the slippery road and the immense power channeled to the wheels.
On regular pump fuel, the M135i still makes approximately 540 hp, so it’s just about as powerful as an M3 CS or an M4 CSL. Other changes worth mentioning include a remapped transmission for quicker gear changes and a rear seat delete to shave off a bit of weight. The owner admits an open diff is not ideal as an LSD would do a way better job of routing power to the wheels.
Source: hampshirephoto / YouTube