We’ll admit it: we’re smitten with BMW’s M Performance hatchback, the M135i. It’s the right size, it offers hatchback sensibility and it looks to be a whole lot of fun on twisty roads. In fact, there’s only one problem with BMW’s hot hatch: it’s not for U.S. consumption.
As the story goes, BMW North America was offered the car, but shot it down on the archaic belief that “Americans don’t buy hatchbacks.” Some time later, BMW NA tried to reverse its decision, but was told by Munich that it was too late. Certifying the car to meet U.S. crash and safety standards, it appears, wouldn’t be cost-effective.
Instead, we’re told to expect another M-tuned coupe, likely labeled as a BMW 2-Series. If its a full-on M car, expect it to carry the BMW M2 name; if it’s mere tuned by BMW’s M Performance group, expect it to drop as the BMW M235i.
Whatever it’s called, we’re sure it will be entertaining to drive. As a coupe, it falls short of offering the same utility delivered by the M135i hatchback seen here, which (please listen up, BMW NA) makes it a deal-breaker for those of us who need a blend of practicality with our rear-drive performance.
If you live in Europe, we’re sure you’ll enjoy BMW’s first non-diesel M Performance vehicle, in either three or five-door configurations. The rest of us will have to make due with trying to beg, borrow or rent the 320 horsepower hot hatch on our next trip across the pond.