2024 is going to be a busy year for BMW M GmbH considering it will give the M3 and M4 a facelift while the M5 will get a next-generation model that’ll bring back the M5 Touring. But what about the lesser cars? Following this year’s release of the first-ever X1 M35i and the new X2 M35i, the same turbocharged 2.0-liter gasoline engine will go into this – the M135i.
Although spy shots have suggested the hot hatch will get a Life Cycle Impulse, we have it on good authority BMW will transition the current 1 Series (F40) to the fourth-generation model. Internally codenamed F70, the compact five-door model is expected to spawn an M Performance version from day one. We’ve already seen plenty of spy shots, which have now served as the foundation for a speculative rendering of the AMG A35 competitor.
Since we’re familiar with the design direction taken by the M Performance X1 and X2, we don’t really need a crystal ball to see into the future of the M135i. Much like those sporty crossovers, it’s getting sharper-looking lights and a quad exhaust system. Bigger changes will occur inside where all next-gen 1 Series models will get the iDrive 9, as seen recently in a spy video featuring a prototype. That’ll bring substantial modifications to the dashboard, along with the demise of the traditional iDrive controller.
Rumor has it the next 1 Series will usher in a slightly updated nomenclature as BMW reportedly intends to drop the letter “i” from the end of the names of cars equipped with a gasoline engine. Consequently, this M135i is supposedly going to be called M135 and will be followed by an M235 for the next generation of the 2 Series Gran Coupe (F74) in M Performance guise. Lesser gasoline variants of the 1er will simply be called 118 and 120 while the cheaper 2er GCs are said to receive the 220, 223, and 228 suffixes.
The diesel 1 Series will keep the “d” at the end, so look for 118d and 120d models where BMW intends to sell the next-gen 1er with oil-burners. Similarly, the diesel 2 Series Gran Coupe is set to receive a 220d variant. For the moment, there aren’t any details about the possibility of a plug-in hybrid powertrain for these two front-wheel-drive-based compact cars.
The M135 and M235 will sit at the top of the food chain, presumably with the same 296 horsepower and 400 Newton-meters (295 pound-feet) of torque found in the Europe-spec X1 M35i and X2 M35i. The crossovers pack 316 hp in the United States where BMW isn’t selling the 1 Series / M135 but it is offering the M235. It could mean the US-spec M235 will be more potent than its sibling available on the Old Continent.
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