BMW's M division boss Dr Friedrich Nitschke has reportedly confirmed that a production version of the M135i concept is locked in, describing it as "virtually identical" to the recent showcar.
Speaking with US magazine Car & Driver, Nitschke added that the performance hatch will feature the same straight-six engine as the concept, understood to be BMW's 225kW N55 mill.
An all-wheel-drive system will reportedly be offered as an option, and both manual and automatic transmissions will be available for the performer.
The M135i concept, revealed in February, also offered the first look at the new 1 Series hatch in three-door form; the roadgoing car is available only as a five-door, for now.
The report adds that Nitschke ruled out M versions of the upcoming i3 and i8 cars, describing them as polar opposites to the regular BMW and BMW M cars.
"The i brand offers the sportiest gas-saving cars, while M GmbH offers the most-efficient sporting cars. They are like different poles of the brand," he said.
Power would likely come from the same M Performance diesel powering the M550d xDrive, its 3.0 litre six-cylinder and triple-turbo combination delivering 280kW and 740Nm of torque.
If the 7 Series version is offered exclusive with the xDrive all-wheel-drive system, as the M550d is, its left-hand-drive-only design would keep it from Australian garages.
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