With a slew of automakers releasing their own variety of performance hatchbacks, it was only a matter of time for BMW to answer in kind. Their answer came in the form of the BMW M135i xDrive, an upgraded version of their compact hatchback. While the M135i xDrive doesn’t have the complete performance overhaul that is standard with the M package, this hot hatch has plenty of tricks up its sleeve to warrant its lauded M branding.
Rather than outfitting the 1 Series with a bigger, more powerful engine, the German automaker decided to sharpen the handling and “track-inspired characteristics” of their hatchback. In fact, almost all of the upgrades to the M135i xDrive seem to be inspired by track performance, as many are focused on enabling the hatchback to turn with more control and precision. The M135i xDrive retains its turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder engine making 302 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque, but it did receive retuned camber settings, springs, and damping systems, as well as a new hydromount installed on the front suspension wishbones to bolster handling and performance. The car also comes with upgraded chassis components to ensure sharper turning and more precise handling to maximize the car’s output. Additionally, the M135i xDrive comes with increased camber values on the front wheels to absorb lateral forces while the car leans into sharper turns. The M135i xDrive also features a mechanical limited-slip differential at the front axle to optimize agility. As yet another added layer of control, the little Bimmer comes with specially-tuned steering and more powerful brakes.
The BMW M135i xDrive also comes with a new, twin-tailpipe exhaust system, which produces a more aggressive sound when throttling the engine. Lastly, and most noticeably, the M135i xDrive comes in a new array of grabbing colors, like Sao Paulo Yellow non-metallic, Frozen Orange metallic, and Frozen Pure Grey. BMW has yet to give a release date or pricing information on the M135i xDrive.