New M135i Has Plenty Of Talent But Doesn’t Feel Like A Traditional BMW

The time to find out how the new BMW M135i feels like on the road has arrived, as the company has started letting journalists have a first go in its all-new hot hatch.

The new BMW M135i xDrive must be one of the most significant new entries in the hot hatch segment for more reasons than one. For starters, it comes with all-wheel drive as standard, placing it directly against rivals like the A35 AMG and Golf R; secondly, it’s built on a front-drive platform with a four cylinder turbo, which definitely changes how it drives compared to its rear-driven, straight-six engine M140i predecessor.

Also Read: 2020 BMW 1-Series Shows Us All Its Secrets

Whether that’s good or bad, it will all come down to personal preferences eventually but the new BMW M135i has to offer a genuinely thrilling driving character if it wants to stay on top of the competition.

Moving the 1-Series into a front-driven platform also means it can share more parts with the rest of BMW Group’s compact models, not to mention the big practicality gains. Despite retaining a similar footprint with the model it replaces, the new 1-Series is finally a car that can easily fit a couple of adults in the back seat.

The engines are now transverse mounted under the bonnet, leaving no room for one of the company’s sweet inline sixes; even the range-topping M135i now sticks to a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, producing 302hp (306PS) and 331lb-ft (450Nm) of torque.

An eight-speed automatic transmission is the only option available, which really shouldn’t come as a surprise at this point. BMW claims a 0-62mph (100km/h) in very healthy 4.8 seconds and a top speed of 155mph (250km/h).

So, how does the radical new BMW M135i xDrive feel like on the road? Autocar delivers its first driving impressions on the video linked below.

 

  • SteersUright

    Hmm…seems like a very competent little car. Spacious, powerful, handles well…not sure how much you can expect from a luxury hot-hatch. This isnt exactly a hardcore Ford RS or Megane RS competitor. It has to also be luxurious to a decent extent. I’d be curious to drive it. One nitpick though, it would’ve been really cool if they could get at least 70% to the rear axle.

  • MG

    It’s not a BMW, no amount of electronic trickery will give it the authentic BMW driving experience, one cannot recreate the 6 cylinder RWD magic. Very disappointing that BMW has put a M135i badge on this ugly podgy generic fwd rebadged Active Tourer.

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