There must be logic to BMW’s decision to badge a new 1 Series M135i for the UK and Europe and then add a new model in the US – the 135is Coupe – that actually has more power but no ‘M’ moniker. But that logic does escape us.
The new US-only BMW 135is comes as a coupe or a convertible and gets 320 horses – up by 20 horses on a regular 135i – and 317lb/ft or torque. A manual ‘box is standard but you can option the 7-speed DCT ‘box.
Extra kit on the 135is includes a performance exhaust, beefed-up cooling, the addition of Dynamic Traction Control to the DSC and an electronic rear brake management system said to mimic diff lock. Cosmetic changes include 18″ alloys, black grill and mirrors and special badges.
Which all sounds very appealing, and actually offers slightly more horses than the new 1 Series M135i does.
But it’s quite easy to get pretty much what the 135is gets in the UK if you want a coupe or convertible instead of the 1 Series hatch. By adding the BMW Performance Power Package to the regular 135i Coupe or convertible – for which BMW will want under £1k – you’ll get 322bhp, which is more than the M135i or the US-only 135is can muster.
Which sounds like a plan.