We'll get to the powertrain in a moment, but first, take note of the three-door hatchback body. Up until now, we've only seen the 2012 1 Series in five-door form, and while the M135i is officially a concept, we'd expect the production version to rock this basic shape, sans the enlarged air intakes up front and the rest of the body kit.
BMW says the three-door 1 Series has "a more dynamic and elongated appearance" than its five-door sibling, pointing to details like its rising character line, frameless windows and "powerfully flared wheel arches" as unique elements. We won't argue any of that, but we're still not entirely sold on the new 1er's nostrils.
Underhood lies BMW's well-known Twin Power Turbo 3.0-liter inline six that sends "more than 300" horsepower to the rear wheels. The suspension has been modified for M Performance duty, and the wheels have been upgraded to 18-inch M-branded alloys. We expect something along these lines to show up in production guise in relatively short order... at the very least for European buyers.
Check out the high-res image gallery above, then click past the break to read the official press release.
BMW Concept M135i.
BMW presents the concept study of a BMW M
Performance automobile featuring a six-cylinder petrol
engine – consistent further development of the new
BMW 1 Series' dynamic characteristics – world
premiere at the 2012 Geneva International Motor Show.
Munich. Simultaneously with the world premiere of the first BMW M
Performance automobiles, BMW's concept study of a further model from this
new product category will be showcased on the media days (6 – 7 March 2012)
at this year's Geneva International Motor Show. The BMW Concept M135i
consistently utilises the dynamic potential of the new BMW 1 Series for the
concept of the first BMW M Performance automobile featuring a straight six-
cylinder petrol engine. The body design of the BMW Concept M135i assigns the
youthful and sporty looks of the new BMW 1 Series to a three-door compact
model, complementing it with the distinctive athleticism so typical of a BMW M
Concept study with characteristics typical of a BMW
M Performance automobile.
With its sporty appearance, the compact three-door car authentically
conveys the typical qualities of BMW Performance automobiles to yet
another vehicle segment. BMW M Performance automobiles offer an
ideal symbiosis of outstanding performance and everyday suitability.
Using the expertise gained by the BMW M division from decades of
motor racing experience, the supreme performance of its
tremendously powerful engines specifically designed to suit each
model, the meticulously modified suspension technology and the
aerodynamic characteristics are all combined into a harmonious
overall concept. As a result, BMW M Performance automobiles have
noticeably increased agility, precisely controllable handling
characteristics and an emotional design. One look at the BMW
Concept M135i and the qualities crucial to that characteristic
M Performance feeling are instantly evident.
The employment of a straight six-cylinder petrol power plant
featuring M Performance Twin Power Turbo technology with a power
output of more than 300 hp creates the ideal prerequisites for
maximum dynamics in the premium compact segment and, in
conjunction with rear-wheel drive concept still unique in this vehicle
class, ensures unsurpassed driving pleasure so typical of a BMW.
Moreover, the characteristic handling precision of BMW M
Performance automobiles is obtained through model-specific
suspension technology that includes an M sports braking system and
is perfectly adapted to match the supreme road performance. 18-
inch M light alloys with a double spoke design additionally
complement the concept car's sporting character.
Body features typical M athletic design.
The front apron of the concept car boasts a typical M design,
signalising intensive road-orientation, its large air intakes designed to
match the cooling requirement of the powerful engine, ancillary
components and large brakes. The three-dimensionally designed
flaps on the air intakes give indication of the car's direct association
with motor racing.
In addition to intense road-orientation, the specific design of the rear
end of the BMW Concept M135i emphasises above all the vehicle's
width. This is supplemented in particular by the three-dimensional
modelling of the surfaces and the lower section of the rear apron
finished in Dark Shadow metallic. Furthermore, the rear apron
accommodates the exhaust system's double tailpipe that features a
dark chrome trim.
The BMW Concept M135i's exterior mirror caps in Ferric Grey and
side window surrounds in BMW Individual High Gloss Shadow Line
are a further feature of BMW M Performance automobiles.
Dynamic, stretched appearance. Concept study of the three-
door BMW 1 Series.
Compared with the silhouette of the five-door BMW 1 Series, the
three-door BMW Concept M135i makes an even more sporting and
elegant statement. On the whole, the car has a more dynamic and
elongated appearance. Viewed from the side, the car's athletic, low-
slung appearance and its nearness to the road are even more
intensely expressed by an entirely horizontal contour line in the area
of the doorsills. A dynamically rising character line symbolises the
BMW Concept M135i's urge to move forwards.
The wide doors are a further characteristic feature of the BMW
Concept M135i's body design. Together with the rear side windows,
the frameless windows form a coherent window surface reaching
back to the rear end, accentuating the body's dynamically stretched
In addition, the surface design in the area of the rear side panels
helps above all to emphasise the powerfully flared wheel arches. The
visual accentuation of this part of the body directs the eye to the rear
wheels, where the power of the six-cylinder power plant is
transformed into driving dynamics in typical BMW manner.
Attractive prospects for the further development of the BMW
1 Series model range.
Thanks to a distinctively sports-oriented appearance, the BMW
Concept M135i offers attractive prospects for the further
development of the BMW 1 Series model range. At the same time, a
clear signal has been given for the expansion of the new product
category of BMW M Performance automobiles. The BMW M
Performance automobiles being presented at the Geneva Motor
Show and shortly to be launched are powered by the world's most
high-performing six-cylinder diesel engine available for series
production vehicles. The petrol-fuelled models in this product
category will also assume a similar unique position. The pre-series
concept car BMW Concept M135i offers a fascinating outlook on a
corresponding offer in the premium compact segment.
The world premiere of the BMW Concept M135i will take
place at the Geneva Motor Show on Tuesday, 6th March at 5
p.m. within the framework of the BMW DTM presentation. On
the second media day (Wednesday, 7th March), the vehicle
will be showcased all day at the BMW stand.
The BMW Group
The BMW Group is one of the most successful manufacturers of automobiles and motorcycles in
the world with its BMW, MINI, Husqvarna Motorcycles and Rolls-Royce brands. As a global
company, the BMW Group operates 25 production and assembly facilities in 14 countries and hasa global sales network in more than 140 countries.
In 2011, the BMW Group sold about1.67 million cars and more than 113,000 motorcycles
worldwide. The profit before tax for the financial year 2010 was euro 4.8 billion on revenues
amounting to euro 60.5 billion. At 31 December 2010, the BMW Group had a workforce of
approximately 95,500 employees.
The success of the BMW Group has always been built on long-term thinking and responsible action. The company has therefore established ecological and social sustainability throughout the value chain, comprehensive product responsibility and a clear commitment to conserving resources as an integral part of its strategy. As a result of its efforts, the BMW Group has been ranked industry leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes for the last seven years.