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Watch new BMW M135i (F20) lapping the North Loop of the Nürburgring in 8 minutes and 5 seconds from bridge to gantry. Far from a perfect lap, still nice time.

Bone stock, not a press car. Michelin Pilot SuperSport tires, 6 speed manual, driver: Pavel Janda.

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Our latest prototype spotting is a surprise… and it isn’t. It appears that BMW is already updating the F20/F21 1 Series hatchback’s front end look, much earlier than the usual LCI facelift schedule.

That BMW is updating a model’s look only 1-2 years after introduction is a surprise, but given the negative reactions that the 1 Series’ front end (headlights, in particular) has garnered, perhaps this sighting isn’t so surprising afterall.

Our spy photos clearly show that the front end (and only the front) of the F20/F21 … CONTINUED

BMW Spyshot
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For months now, some F20 1 Series and F30 3 Series owners have been reporting a rust issue with their front seats. For some, it’s just a nuisance and a bad feeling about the build quality of their BMWs, but for others it’s a serious defect.

One Korean F30 3 Series owner was so fed up with the issue that he has destroyed his F30 in protest. Driving to the BMW offices in Korea, he smashed his front windshield and spray painted his 3 … CONTINUED

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This report comes via Autocar and claims that BMW is mulling over plans for a 300hp 1 Series sedan M model to take on the likes of the Mercedes CLA45 AMG and Audi S3 sedan.

Per Autocar:

BMW is hatching plans for a hot entry-level M model based around a new saloon version of the second-generation 1-series.

The compact four-door aims to provide BMW with a direct rival to the upcoming Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG and Audi S3 saloon. The new BMW has already been earmarked to run a … CONTINUED

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BMW inside Scott26 has posted the following summary of the upcoming 1 series, 2 series, M2, Z1, Z2, and X2 lineup, as plans stand now.

By 2020. BMW hope to have projected sales of over two million units.

The larger majority of this level of sales will be combined MINI/BMW based upon the UKL architecture of around 600,000 units , then you can factor in another large number of dedicated SAV sales before we get to the regular series models. As I have said before welcome to … CONTINUED

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It’s no secret that BMW has aspirations to move into the compact premium FWD car market, having recently debuted its BMW Concept Active Tourer (which will launch as a production model next year). BMW believes that its new FWD architecture, known as the UKL platform (which will be shared with future MINI models), will be key to driving the company’s future growth.

The company projects that the premium small car market will become the fastest-growing segment and it needs to expand aggressively into this market in … CONTINUED

Jeremy Clarkson on the BMW M135i

11/22/2012 at 10:40 AM
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Jeremy Clarkson of Top Gear reviews the BMW M135i in a recent Sunday Times UK issue.

See what amusing and insightful things Mr. Clarkson has to say about the M135i inside.

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In the “Auto Trophy 2012″, the new BMW 3 Series was chosen as the most popular mid-range automobile, while the BMW 1 Series Convertible came out top in the “Convertibles up to 30,000 euros” category. The “Best Advertising” award also went to BMW – here readers of the automobile magazine “Auto Zeitung” showed a clear preference for the BMW 5 Series Touring campaign. The outstanding BMW result was rounded off with numerous other top 3 placements for the BMW 5 Series, the BMW 6 Series … CONTINUED

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The BMW M135i and Porsche 911 battle on the track at the hands of Tiff Needell and Steve Sutcliffe for EVO’s car of the year comparisons.

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The latest issue of EVO magazine features the EVO Car of the Year feature. The BMW M135i makes the short list of great cars under consideration.

The results are as follows (from best to worst), according to EVO:

1) Pagani Huayra
1) Lotus Exige V6 (tie)
3) Porsche Boxster S
4) Mclaren MP4-12C
5) Porsche 911 Carrera
6) BMW M135i (8 speed auto)

Other contenders that didn’t make the final shootout:

Mercedes C63 AMG Black
Alpina B3 GT3
Morgan 3 Wheeler
Toyota GT 86

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The BMW Group continued to perform successfully during the period under report despite difficult market conditions. Sales volume, revenues and earnings figures all constituted new highs to date for a third quarter. Revenues during the three-month period from July to September rose by 13.7% to € 18,817 million (2011: € 16,547 million). The profit before financial result (EBIT) increased by 13.8% to € 2,004 million (2011: € 1,761 million). Third-quarter profit before tax (EBT) improved by 17.6% to € 1,987 million (2011: € 1,689 million). … CONTINUED

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The last time we posted photos of the FWD 1 Series GT in testing, it was nearly a year before the debut of the BMW Concept Active Tourer [official info] at the recent 2012 Paris auto show.

Here, we see it with less camouflage than ever and although some fairly heavy and tricky camouflage remains, one can look to the concept model [photos below] for a very good idea of what the production model will look like. BMW has a strong track record of keeping production … CONTINUED

BMW Spyshot