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2013 BMW 135is Coupe And Convertible: 320 HP From $44,145

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The BMW 1-Series M Coupe is basically done; it was a one-year special sold as a limited edition. But now there's a new compact BMW that's not-quite-but-almost as good, at least in some respects: the 2013 135is.

Available as either a coupe or a convertible, the 135is borrows the same basic philosophy (and engine) as found in the 335is, delivering 320 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque in the 1-Series body. A choice of six-speed manual or seven-speed dual clutch transmission  opens the performance door to pretty much everyone.

BMW includes a special tune for the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) and Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) that raises the threshold for slip and yaw to more sporting levels. It's even supposed to "enhance performance-oriented driving." Sounds good, but we'll have to test it for ourselves.

If the 135is sounds familiar, it's because it's a two-door doppelgänger to the M Performance 1-Series hatchbacks released in Europe this week, which get the same power output with a cargo area. Yes, we'd rather have that version--especially the three-door--too.

A new differential in the 135is offers cooler operating temperatures and, in theory therefore, somewhat greater efficiency in power delivery. It does this by using new double-helical ball bearings, reducing friction and the amount of lubricant needed within the differential. The 135is still doesn't get a true mechanical limited-slip differential like that found in the 1-Series M Coupe, however, instead relying on the familiar brake-based simulated differential lock to improve acceleration and low-traction grip

2013 BMW 135is

2013 BMW 135is

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Unique aesthetic touches reserved for the 135is include exclusive 18-inch wheels, a high-gloss black kidney grille, black mirror caps, and the full M Sport Package. Inside, the 135is sports special badges, and optional black leather seats with blue stitching.

The 2013 BMW 135is Coupe and Convertible will arrive at dealers this fall, but if you missed out on the 1-Series M Coupe--or just want something a bit more relaxed, but not as tame as a standard 135i--you can order one now. The 135is Coupe starts from $44,145, while the Convertible jumps off at $48,845.
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Comments (5)
  1. Why do you need a hatchback? I understand the Z3 M Coupe was pretty awesome, but selling it as a hatchback will just draw attention to the fact that you could get a hatch with nearly equal power for $20,000 dollars less.
     
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  2. Well for starters, this looks so dated now compared to the 'new' 1-Series. I understand BMW USA not selling the hatch as people here wouldn't pay such a premium but I still think it's a cool car. The hatchback is cool as it is ideal for buyers who only want one car. Space to carry your stuff and more than just one friend, but performance of a sports car when you want it.
     
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  3. Precisely--it's all about utility. One car that'll hold a week's grocery run, stuff from the hardware store (within reason), carry tires to the track, and still be fast and compact.
     
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  4. "Yes, we'd rather have that version--especially the three-door--too". Speak for yourselves, the hatchback is sooo ugly. THe coupe is slick and hot ride. Just got a 135is 6MT: A blast to drive and a joy to look at.
     
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  5. If you want carry a month worth of groceries, get a station wagon
     
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