BMW Will Not Bring M135i Hatchback to the U.S.
By Alistair Weaver, European Correspondent | Published Jul 16, 2012
Just the Facts:
- The M135i hatchback launched in Europe.
- BMW North America tried to reverse its decision not to import it.
- The hatchback could provide the base for a M135i coupe based on the new 1 Series coupe, due next year.
MUNICH, Germany — BMW has confirmed that it will not be bringing the new M135i to the U.S. Based on the three-door hatchback version of the 1 Series that has just been launched in Europe, the M135i from the M Performance Line seeks to bridge the gap between standard cars with M Sport packages and dedicated M cars.
BMW North America admits that it tried to reverse its original decision not to take the car but by then it was too late. "The car has not been engineered for the U.S. and to modify it now would be too expensive and take too long," said a BMW spokesman. BMW North America had hoped to ready the car for the 1 Series' midlife face-lift, due in a couple of years time, but even that now has been ruled out.
The M135i is powered by BMW's familiar turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 rated at 315 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. In Europe, a six-speed manual is standard, while an eight-speed automatic can be specified as an option. BMW claims zero to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds, with top speed electronically limited to 155 mph. With upgraded suspension developed by M engineers, it's one of the most entertaining BMWs on sale today.
While the M135i won't be crossing the Atlantic in hatchback form, don't bet against a coupe version of the car eventually making the journey. BMW will debut the new 1 Series coupe next year, possibly as early as the 2013 Geneva Auto Show in March.
Inside Line says: Another instance of missing out on a great car because it's the wrong body style.