Do you remember the BMW M135i Concept
we reported on a few months back? The 1-Series hatchback worked over by the mad scientists at BMW’s M Performance group? The one with a 300-plus-horsepower turbocharged inline-six, upgraded brakes and an M-tuned suspension?
We’ve got good news and bad news about that. Since we’re in a glass-is-half-empty kind of mood this week, we’ll hit you with the bad news up front: we’re not getting that car in the United States.
Now the good news: based on a conversation with BMW’s M Group CEO, Dr. Friedrich Nitschke, BMW Blog
is reporting that we will get a version of the car in the United States, most likely in the same coupe form as last year’s 1-Series M
In the words of Dr. Nitschke, the new car will be built specifically for U.S. customers, which likely means it will come with a higher level of standard equipment than European market cars. It will be based on the upcoming 1-Series coupe, set to launch in 2013, but when the M135i variant will arrive is still anyone’s guess.
Powertrain details are lacking, but it’s logical to expect the M135i to come with at least the same level of horsepower as the end-of-production 1-Series M
. That means it will pack a minimum of 335 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque under the hood, and may even offer up both manual and DCT automated manual transmissions.
Given the collector-car frenzy that hit the 1-Series M after launch (with the accompanying dealer price gouging), we hope that BMW builds the new version in sufficient quantities to meet consumer demand. We also wish it would reconsider the hatchback for these shores, since we're not entirely sure the old wisdom that "Americans don't want hatchbacks" still rings true.