Is the latest pumped-up version of the M135i worthy of the Ultimate Driving Machine label? We don’t know yet, but YouTuber Carvlogger has taken a first look at BMW’s answer to the Mercedes-AMG A35 and Audi S3 Sportback. The M135i in this video is extra special as it’s the flagship xDrive (all-wheel-drive) model equipped with M Performance parts.

Starting with the exterior, the M Performance parts are a notable addition. They don’t transform the BMW into a TCR race car, but they come close. Mostly constructed of forged carbon fibre, the components include new mirrors, front canards, side skirts, a rear-diffuser, and rear-spoiler. 

It’s clear in the video that these parts are as functional as they are cool-looking. Along with the front canards, there are sizeable ducts for aerodynamics and cooling. Also, the rear spoiler rivals that of the Civic Type R and is complemented nicely by the full-carbon rear-diffuser.

Along with the pumped up exterior, the M package brings an all-encompassing increase in performance. Up at the front-axle BMW has fitted massive 18-inch red brake calipers, which are a staple for any hot hatch trying to fight its way to the top. Along with the calipers there are vented discs to optimise stopping power.

bmw m135i front brake

BMW has pulled out all the stops for this model, especially under the bonnet. The M135i will have BMW’s most powerful four-cylinder production engine. The turbocharged 2.0-litre engine in the xDrive model will produce around 300 bhp. With all-wheel-drive, it shouldn’t take long at all for this car to reach 60 mph – expect its times to be solidly in the low four-second range..  

Carvlogger also takes a brief look at the updated interior of the five-door beast. Unsurprisingly, it features all of the ubiquitous hot-hatch trimmings, like tightly bolstered front seats, M-branding as far as the eye can see, and a red bar to indicate 12 o’clock on the steering wheel. That said, the interior is also spacious and luxurious. Tastefully wrapped in alcantara and leather, it offers ample leg-room for passengers in the back, and also a head-up-display.

We’ll have to wait and see how the new flagship M135i compares to its rivals on the road. However, with its credentials, we have no doubt that it will be a worthy competitor.