The oft-speculated M version of the BMW 1 Series appears to be getting closer to production reality if our latest batch of spy pics is anything to go on. Exactly what badge it will were remains unknown at this point. It seems improbable that it will actually be called M1 since BMW likely wants to preserve the badge for its original M supercar. However, it is possible that the hotted up 1 could follow the pattern of the X5/X6 and be called the 1 M – and it might not even get an M badge altogether. Perhaps it will just be dubbed 135is like the new-for-2011 335is that we recently reviewed – or even a 135 tii like a previous concept shown by BMW.
1 Series enthusiasts' forum 1Addicts.com has an FAQ of unknown provenance that indicates the car will be launched late this year and on sale in the first half of 2011. Power is expected to come from a twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline six which perhaps indicates that the 135is branding is the most likely scenario. A convertible may also be part of the plan.
Our spy shooter notes that this car is clearly further developed from the previous prototypes with tacked-on black fenders. The front spoiler, widened fenders, and big alloys shrouding oversized drilled discs appear to be near-production items too. Given that the current 135i puts offers 300 horsepower, and going speculation has the hotter model delivering 350-370 horsepower.
All of which begs the question: What do you want the new top-rung 1 Series to be called? Take our survey below and let us know what you think.