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      01-26-2012, 12:52 AM   #1
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Next BMW M Performance Model Up: M135i Spied Again, With AWD xDrive?

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Next BMW M Performance Model Up: M135i Spied Again, With AWD xDrive?
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On the heels of the just revealed BMW M Performance Automobiles opening lineup, our spies have spotted yet another F20 prototype which we believe may be the test mule for an upcoming M135i model to join the M Performance lineup, possibly by summer.

Now that the M550d and X5/X6 M50d have officially been announced, it's really no big stretch to believe that BMW will go with an "M135i" moniker for the F20/F21 135i equipped with M-Sport package. To revisit the info so far on a possible M135i model -- a report came from a BMW presentation to Dutch dealers in November that a "M135i" 1 series hatchback was coming this summer. Those in attendance were reportedly told about a M135i featuring 320hp and powered by the N55 inline 6 engine.

This particular prototype is seen wearing the M Sport front bumper, rear diffuser, and sideskirts. The wheels are the F20 M sport wheels painted black, and you can see the large M Sport brakes peeking out from behind the spokes.


M135i XDRIVE?

BMW M President Dr. Friedrich Nitschke has previously stated that the M Performance cars would include both petrol and diesel models, so an N55 powered M135i would make sense. Nitschke also stated that the "intelligent all-wheel-drive system BMW xDrive would also play a significant role in the BMW M Performance Automobiles." All 4 of the just revealed BMW M Performance models feature AWD xDrive, so could the M135i possibly come with xDrive as well? Call this a case of the eyes seeing what the mind wants them to see, but we could easily be convinced that the front and rear tires seen in the first photo below are the same size; which, if true, would point strongly to the possibility of AWD xDrive transmission for an M135i.

Also, in case you missed it, a 3-door F21 which is also possibly an M135i in testing was also spotted in testing last week.



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