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by Jay Traugott
BMW continues to expand their 1 Series lineup, but the U.S. is still not being included in all of the fun.
Before we go any further, we have to disclose that the BMW 1 Series three-door hatch and the high-performance M135i hatch are not coming to the U.S. That's the bad news, but for European buyers, it's a different story. BMW has just released details and pictures of both cars, which are set to arrive in showrooms on your continent in the coming months. Starting off with the standard 1 Series three-door, the entry-level BMW is offered with a range of four-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines.
Transmissions include a standard six-speed manual or an optional eight-speed automatic as well as an eight-speed sport slushbox. Styling wise, the three-door is identical to its already on sale (in Europe) five-door hatch sibling. While its front-end styling isn't the most attractive, the overall look of the car is more of a natural styling evolution and not a completely radical redesign. For the first time, xDrive (that's BMW-speak for all-wheel-drive) will be offered on several trim levels as well. But the real icing on the cake
here is the M135i.
Powered by a 3.0-liter straight-six engine with 320hp, it features an M Performance TwinPower Turbo technology with a Twin Scroll turbocharger, a direct fuel injection system and variable valve control. It can go from 0 to 62 mph in 5.1 seconds and has a top speed of 155 mph. Transmission options include a newly developed standard six-speed manual with dry sump lubrication or an optional eight-speed sports transmission with gearshift paddles located on the steering column. Styling wise, the M135i features the typical M body that optimizes performance for a true "sports car feeling."
The front apron is also typical of M styling as it reflects the car's firm and responsive handling. Those large air intakes are required in order to meet the cooling demands of the engine. Riding on 18-inch light alloy wheels, the M135i also has the typical 'M' emblems both inside and out. Interior features exclusive cloth Hexagon/Alcantara upholstery, an M leather steering wheel, an M driver footrest, and a speedometer and rev counter. Official pricing wasn't announced. To end this on a positive note, BMW sources have indicated that the M135i in coupe form will eventually go on sale in the U.S. at a later date. So there's hope after all.