For a while, most of the automotive world was intently focused on the BMW 1-Series M. A lot of news, teasers and relentless speculation lead to its debut. Then, BMW announced it was a “one and done”, with it being put into production for just one model year. We’re not sure why they did that, but it was nice while it lasted.
As a bit of a consolation, BMW is announcing the 135is Coupe and Convertible for 2013. While it is no 1-Series M, the 135is is the most powerful standard 1-Series yet. The 1-Series is a previous generation BMW product, developed during the Bangle era. That means it is a bit legacy in terms of powertrain setup as well.
Base models of the 3- and 5-Series have turned to turbo four-cylinder power, but the 135is still has a six-cylinder. And not just any six, mind you, but BMW’s lovely turbocharged 3.0-liter inline unit. For duty in the 135is the 3.0-liter has added 20 horsepower and 17 pound-feet of torque. The result is 320 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque, mated to either a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Exterior changes include a darkened grille and mirror, along with unique 18-inch wheels.
The suspension has been tweaked as well, with a stiffer tune versus the standard car. While not an M Performance model, M Sport bits have been thrown in the interior to give it a sportier feel. Compact and rear-wheel drive, the 135is should be a lot of fun to throw it around. Like the 1-Series M, enjoy it while it lasts! Like the rest of the competition, the next-generation car will be moving to a front-wheel drive platform. A FWD architecture is being developed to underpin cars like the 1-Series and upcoming MINI. The 135is starts at $44,195 (including $895 destination) and $44,895 for the convertible. If you’re interested, head to the BMW dealer – they are on sale now.