BMW confirms it is bringing a M135i three-door to the Geneva Motor Show next month, and it just might be the hottest hatch ever — though there’s slim chance it will come to the United States.
Long rumored and now confirmed, the M135i features BMW’s N55 engine. The single turbo, twin-scroll straight-six promises more than 300 horsepower. The Bavarians are bringing a rear-wheel drive car to Geneva, but there are rumors and spy shots of an all-wheel-drive model that will wear the xDrive badge. No official word on the transmission we’ll see bolted to the engine, but the new M135i most likely will come with a choice of either six-speed manual or dual-clutch automatic.
The exterior features frameless windows, a low stance and aggressive air intakes to keep the engine cool. Flared arches highlight the car’s increased width, and the third door reminds us of the Z3-based M coupe of a decade ago. Though the pig-nosed hatch certainly won’t win any beauty contests — and we could certainly do without the stripes &madash; it’s still somewhat beautiful if only because it’s so functional.
BMW says the car is a “concept study” at this point, but it isn’t hard to imagine the M135i rounding out the entry level of the expanded M lineup. Unfortunately, it’ll probably only be available to European buyers since BMW has never brought a 1-series hatch stateside.
That’s a shame. Like everyone else who has ever driven one, we’re huge fans of the BMW 1-series M, which disappeared from dealerships after fewer than 800 were built in 2011. While the M135i isn’t quite on par with the 1-series M’s performance, it seems to share the same focus on a pure driving experience.