Audi and BMW have long been enemies on both the road and the track, with their respective M and S/RS lines duking it out to the delight of auto enthusiasts everywhere. In this video from Evo, two of the rivalry's newest combatants take to the track - the Audi S3 and the BMW M135i.
BMW and Mercedes-Benz – please, please, please bring the M135i and A45 AMG hatchbacks to North America. For as long as we can remember, buyers in the New World have been forced to look longingly at Europe and Great Britain and the excellent super hatches that are so routinely offered there. And while we're quite content with the Ford Focus ST and Volkswagen GTI, having a 360-horse five-door with a premium, content-rich interior sounds quite nice.
Over the last year, we've had the chance to drive two of the most exciting hatchbacks in the BMW family – the BMW M135i and the Mini Paceman John Cooper Works – but Autocar has managed to get the two corporate cousins together for a head-to-head comparison. Just like our initial impressions of the Paceman JCW, Autocar has little to complain about this new 215-horsepower hatchback... until it begins to factor in the faster, better-mannered and similarly priced M135i.
We can now take an official, in-depth look at the new BMW M135i and the accompanying three-door 1 Series range – and there's much to see. Starting from the beginning, the Bimmer's styling has inclined some people to grab their hatchets. Yes, there's a whole lot of intensity and a slumgullion of deeply incised polygons mixed together in that little upright face, but we have no doubt there'll be a whole lot more people grabbing their wallets when they see it.
The BMW M135i is still doing development laps, but that hasn't stopped BMW from getting prospective buyers ready for it. In a 1:44 promo called "It!", two adults play the kiddies' favorite game in the hot hatches through the container-box lanes of an empty port at night.
Remember the rumors of BMW working on a hot 1 Series hatch just below the 1 Series M? The evidence trail was so faint that we called it "the most speculative sort of specualtion" when we posted on it six months ago. The trail and the car just got a lot hotter now that the very three-door hatch in question, the M135i, has been spotted burning serious gas around the Nürburgring.
If BMW isn't willing to give us an authentic M-ified 1 Series, we'll have to settle for the next best thing, and that's the M135i, the latest performance package from the marque's motorsport division.