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Mike Stevens | Aug 1, 2012

BMW's bahn-storming new M135i hot hatch will hit Australian showrooms in October, priced from $68,400 - plus on-roads.

Available in five-door form only, the M135i enters at the top of the new 1 Series range, taking its place as the line-up's performance flagship.

The M135i is also the first petrol model in the new M Performance family - one step up from M Sport, one down from true M status.

Power in the new M-tuned car is provided by BMW's trusty turbocharged inline-six, producing 235kW and 450Nm of torque.

While the M135i churns out the same torque numbers as the 1 Series M, the genuine M car has another 15kW of power over this new hatch.

Where the 1 M was offered with a manual transmission only, the M135i gets a six-speed manual and an eight-speed automatic.

In auto form, BMW says the M135i will hit 100km/h in 4.9 seconds - yes, the same time as the manual 1 M - while the manual lists a 5.1 second run.

2013 bmw m135i 1 series overseas five door 07

Those comparable acceleration figures are brought about in part by the huge torque, and also by the M135i's lighter kerb weight; around 70kg lighter than the 1 M Coupe.

One significant point of difference between these two cars, mechanically, is in the steering. While the 1 M benefited from a hydraulic arrangement, the M135i packs an electromechanical system.

The M135i's styling kit includes unique 18-inch rims wrapped in 225/40 tyres up front and 245/35 rubber at the rear, while the front bumper sees the fog lights replaced with large air intakes.

There's an M Sport body kit all round, topped off by a high-performance exhaust system with dual tips - one at each end of the rear bumper.

Inside, there's an M-badged sports steering wheel, Alcantara-trimmed seats and red highlights.

The M135i's rivals will include the upcoming A 45 AMG and the Audi RS 3 - but as the only rear-wheel-drive offering in the trio, this one will have an appeal all its own.

What of the Three-door?

Speaking with TMR today, BMW Australia's Scott Croaker confirmed that the three-door is not yet on the cards for a local debut.

"At this stage, the three-door model - both in M135i and 'regular' form - would be a low-volume offering that isn't suited to our local plans. We'll watch the market for demand however," Mr Croaker said.

Watch for TMR's review after the car's launch in October.

 

Pricing

In showrooms from October, the 2013 BMW M135i is priced from $68,400 for the manual model.

The automatic model, reaching over the Luxury Car Tax, adds a $4000 premium.

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