New 2019 BMW M135i set to launch with 302bhp

The new BMW M135i will rival the VW Golf R when it arrives at the Frankfurt Motor Show, and our exclusive images preview how it could look

The all-new BMW M135i will be launched at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show, with a new turbocharged four-cylinder engine and all-wheel-drive, marking the death of its predecessor’s straight-six-powered, rear-wheel-driven formula. As such, the new M135i will compete directly with the Volkswagen Golf R and Mercedes-AMG A 45 and our exclusive images preview how it could look.

The new M135i’s turbocharged 2.0-litre engine will produce 302bhp and 450Nm of torque, giving it a 33bhp and 50Nm performance deficit in comparison to the outgoing M140i model. However, thanks to a fresh eight-speed automatic transmission and a new four-wheel-drive system, BMW promises improved acceleration.

• New BMW M135i xDrive prototype review

Unlike the new M3, the M135i’s AWD setup will not offer a rear-wheel-drive mode. Also, the relative tameness of the powertrain could well have been an intentional move by BMW, providing the potential for the German firm to produce an even more potent 1 Series model to sit above the M135i, with around 400bhp.

Chassis upgrades over the standard 1 Series will include  a wider track, improved steering response, a more rigid body shell (with a ‘boomerang’ rear strut), a torque-vectoring limited-slip differential and a revised stability control system, all of which BMW claims will benefit body control and ride quality.

Styling updates over the standard car include more aggressive front and rear bumpers, wider side skirts, flared wheel arches, larger M-Sport alloy wheels and a huge twin-exit exhaust system protruding from a deeper rear diffuser.

What do you think of our exclusive BMW M135i pictures? Let us know your thoughts below…