BMW Concept M135i set to appear at Geneva

Don’t get bogged down in the name – M135i – or try to correlate its powerplant with that of the previous generation 1 M. This is a straight six twin-turbocharged 1 Series from the new BMW M Performance range, that recently brought us the M550d and M50d X6/X5.

Engine power is expected to be in the region of 320 bhp (BMW have just said over 300 bhp at this stage), together with around 330 lb-ft of torque. So it’s close, very close to the numbers produced by the 1 M.

But of course it’s not an ‘M’, not a real one – it’s an ‘M Performance’ 1 Series, which means it’s slightly less performance oriented and easier to live with on a daily basis.

Rather than receiving a bespoke engine, engineered from the ground up ‘only’ for an M car, these ‘M Performance’ models are enhanced and optimised mainstream BMW’s but using the expertise gained by the BMW M division from decades of motor racing.

Confusing isn’t it?

There’s more to an M Performance BMW than the engine though, BMW say “..they have noticeably increased agility, precisely controllable handling characteristics and an emotional design.”

In the case of the Concept M135i that means a modified suspension and M sports braking system, which is perfectly adapted to match its increased road performance.

Besides the uprated engine, suspension and braking, the M135i shows of the new range of M Performance Parts (as seen in the video above). These include three-dimensionally designed flaps for the air intakes, lower section of the rear apron finished in Dark Shadow metallic, double exhaust tailpipes with a dark chrome trim and Ferric Grey coloured mirror caps.

There’s little more to say at the moment, but we’ll bring you further insights as they are revealed in Geneva.