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BMW enters hot hatch hoedown with M135i

The BMW 1 series is a fantastic little hatchback, with excellent handling, but it’s always been lacking one thing: looks sex appeal affordability power. BMW has been working feverishly to set this right with a new 1 series hot hatch that has all the practicality of the standard 1 Series, with all the performance of the top of the ladder 1 Series M Coupe.

The M135i offers stunning performance, yet is as practical as a standard 1 Series.
The M135i offers stunning performance, yet is as practical as a standard 1 Series.

The M135i ditches the weedy petrol engines of the standard car, in favour of a 3-litre 6-cylinder turbocharged petrol unit that erupts 320hp through its rear wheels. Its M TwinPower turbo system, which uses a twin-scroll turbocharger, helps produce a hearty 450Nm of torque, which is sufficient to help this baby beast charge from a standstill to sixty-two in 5.1 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 155mph.

This level of performance dwarfs the ordinary 1 Series cars. More importantly, it compares rather favourably to the 1 Series M Coupe, which does 0-62mph in 4.9 seconds and has the same top speed.

The M135i one-ups its sportier cousin where practicality is practicality is concerned. The car will be available with a choice of either three or five doors. The rear of the cabin isn’t as large as some rival hatchbacks, but it’s large enough to fit a couple of fully grown adults in relative comfort. 

The M135i should also be cheaper to run. It’ll do 37.7mpg combined and emits CO2 at a rate of 175g/km. The 1 Series M Coupe returns 29.4mpg combined and spits 224g/km.

Pricing for the M135i hasn’t yet been confirmed, but here’s hoping it’s cheaper than the £40,000 1 M Coupe. If it is, then we’re sold. It’s difficult to think of many cars with this level of performance and practicality. Have a look at it in the pictures below and spew your thoughts in the comments section or on our Facebook page.

Its 3-litre TwinPower turbo engine produces 320hp.
Its 3-litre TwinPower turbo engine produces 320hp.

0-60mph in 4.9 seconds? Yes please.

The M135 should be faster than most hot hatches, yet be practical enough for visits to Ikea.

The front grille is quite aggressive, but the overall look of the car is pretty subtle.

The front wheels are stopped by four-piston swing-calliper disc brakes..

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