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12/05/2012    9:00 PM
COMMENTS: 148

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 is receiving some cosmetic changes. From what we can see, the headlights will be made smaller, taking away some of the Angry Birds look that many have jokingly compared headlights to. They seem to retain a teardrop shape, albeit a … CONTINUED

11/05/2012    4:00 PM
COMMENTS: 30

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 models very close to the concept versions.

We expect that the 1 Series GT models may come with 3 cylinder, hybrid 3 cylinder, and possibly also a 4 cylinder powertrain options. The plug-in hybrid eDrive system on the concept model pairs … CONTINUED

08/31/2012    3:20 PM
COMMENTS: 45

The FWD 1 Series “Compactive Tourer,” – the first model in BMW’s upcoming lineup of FWD 1 series cars, will be making its world public premiere at the 2012 Paris autoshow in late September, but a purported design diagram of its rear lights has now been revealed. The FWD 1 series models ride on the UKL platform, which it will share with the upcoming MINI models. It will hit the market sometime in 2013.

Its tail lights appear to feature the floating light bar design seen in recent BMW models. The circular hole behind the light bars will house the brake light and the holes at the bottom of the lights are likely indicator and reverse bulbs.

The FWD 1-series models will join the rest of the 1-series … CONTINUED

04/21/2012    12:45 PM
COMMENTS: 95

Powered by a 320hp version of the N55 3.0-litre inline 6, the M135i will be the fastest 1-series currently available. As BMW puts it, “moreover, the characteristic handling precision of BMW M Performance automobiles is obtained through model-specific suspension technology that includes an M sports braking system and is perfectly adapted to match the supreme road performance. 18-inch M light alloys with a double spoke design additionally complement the car’s sporting character.” So we expect the M135i’s performance to come quite close to the already-legendary 1-series M Coupe.

The M135i has been confirmed to be coming with optional manual transmission and AWD xDrive. The coupe version of the M135i (which may be called the M235i as the F22 coupe may take on the 2-series badge) has been … CONTINUED

03/29/2012    11:35 AM
COMMENTS: 95

We’ve now added a spy video of the M135i seen in live action for the first time, as well as an F21 135i 3-door hatchback.

Powered by a 320hp version of the N55 3.0-litre inline 6, the M135i will be the fastest 1-series currently available. As BMW puts it, “moreover, the characteristic handling precision of BMW M Performance automobiles is obtained through model-specific suspension technology that includes an M sports braking system and is perfectly adapted to match the supreme road performance. 18-inch M light alloys with a double spoke design additionally complement the car’s sporting character.”

So we expect the M135i’s performance to come quite close to the already-legendary 1-series M Coupe.

03/27/2012    3:35 PM
COMMENTS: 95

At the Geneva Motor Show three weeks ago, BMW gave a first preview of the upcoming M135i in Concept form. Today, we’re happy to share the first clear spyshots of the M135i production version currently being tested on the Nürburgring. Dual tailpipes and the trademark M Performance wheels give this model away. The M135i will be the next model introduced to the new line of M Performance Automobiles, which already includes the M550d and X5/X6 M50d models.

Powered by a 320hp version of the N55 3.0-litre inline 6, the M135i will be the fastest 1-series currently available. As BMW puts it, “moreover, the characteristic handling precision of BMW M Performance automobiles is obtained through model-specific suspension technology that includes an M sports braking system and is perfectly … CONTINUED

01/26/2012    9:45 AM
COMMENTS: 25

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 … CONTINUED

01/17/2012    8:45 PM
COMMENTS: 77

We bring you the very first photos of the F21 135i. We’ve previously spied a 135i 5-door hatchback (F20), but never the 135i 3-door hatchback (F21) as seen here. In fact, F21 sightings in general have been rare.

The F21 is set to be revealed as early as Spring 2012. Expect to see more powerful engines (compared to the F20 1 series 5-door) introduced with the F21. To name a few, we expect a 125i 2.0l turbo inline 4 producing in the ballpark of 220hp and a 125d to complement the 116i, the 118i and the 120d.

M135i ?

As we reported recently, we would not be surprised if BMW went with a “M135i” moniker for this car to form part of the first group of M Performance Automobiles … CONTINUED