When it comes to M Performance vehicles
from BMW, so far U.S. customers have gotten the short end of the stick. While buyers in Europe can snap up all the M550d xDrive sedans, or X5 M50d crossovers, or X6 M50d crossovers they want, these models are not-for-U.S.-consumption.
Worse, we’re excluded from the M135i hatchback
that left us drooling last April. “Americans,” we’re told, “don’t buy hatchbacks,” so instead we’re stuck with less functional (and, to our eyes, less attractive) coupes and sedans.
According to Autoweek
, there’s a bit of good news on the horizon. The short-lived BMW 1-Series M Coupe
from last year will be replaced by the first M Performance model to be offered in the United States, dubbed the M235i.
The M235i coupe should debut in early 2014, likely at January’s Detroit Auto Show. To better define its product range, BMW will begin calling hatchback models the 1-Series
, while coupes and convertibles get labeled as 2-Series cars.
Expect the M235i to get power from a version of BMW’s N55 turbocharged in-line six engine, which should be good for a minimum of 316 horsepower. Unlike the 1-Series M, which came only with a six-speed manual, M235i buyers will get a choice of manual or seven-speed dual-clutch transmissions.
Rumor has it that an all-wheel-drive version will be offered, too, although this may be sold in specific regions only. The M Performance coupe will be followed by an M235i convertible, also due for introduction some time in 2014.
While we’re glad to see BMW reintroduce a model comparable to the 1-Series M
, we still want to see the M135i hatchback on this side of the pond, too. Let’s see a quick show of hands - how many MA readers in the United States would consider putting money down on BMW’s hot hatch?