When BMW introduced the M135 at the beginning of the month, it chose to show off the hot hatch in Alpine White. That was somewhat of an unusual decision since the flagship 1 Series (F70) is available in more exciting colors. Two that spring to mind are Frozen Pure Grey and Frozen Portimao Blue, both matte Individual paints. This white shade is actually the standard paint as all the others will cost extra.

We had the chance to get up close and personal with the M135 in its most basic color this week at the BMW Welt in Munich. It wasn’t a standard configuration since the car had the optional 19-inch wheels (Style 976 M). You can tell by the headlights’ blue inner accents the compact performance hatchback had adaptive LEDs with a matrix glare-free high beam.

Not seeing the letter “i” at the end of the rear M135 badge is a bit strange. So is realizing the “M” and “1” are the same size while the “3” and “5” use a smaller font. No, this isn’t an M1. The taillights look as if they came straight from the latest-generation X2. Elsewhere, the M Performance model has its own grille design, featuring horizontal slats for the kidneys. BMW couldn’t miss the opportunity to add an M at the front.

The Audi S3 Sportback has had a quad exhaust for many years but it’s only now the M135 switches to the more aggressive design. Those red calipers belong to the standard brakes but BMW will sell an optional M Compound set with gray calipers. It’ll be part of the M Technology Package with 385-mm front and 330-mm rear discs. Available starting fall, this optional kit will also bundle lighter, more rigid aluminum anti-roll bars and additional underfloor struts. In addition, stronger piston rods for the front shock absorbers will be included, along with some weight-saving measures.

The automatic- and xDrive-only M135 will remain the top dog in the 1 Series family. BMW doesn’t plan to go after the Audi RS3 or the AMG A45. The days of six-cylinder 1er models with longitudinally mounted engines and rear-wheel drive are long gone.