The Pocket Rockets of BMW M Performance

Small in size but big in performance, the BMW M135i xDrive and M235i xDrive Gran Coupe prove that small can be powerful too


They say good things come in small packages, and that idiom most certainly applies to the smallest members of BMW’s M Performance Automobiles (MPA) line-up, the M135i xDrive and M235i xDrive Gran Coupe.

Despite their compact dimensions, the M135i xDrive and M235i xDrive Gran Coupe prove that size is no obstacle to performance. Indeed, both cars feature a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine that is the most powerful four-cylinder powerplant ever fitted to a series-production BMW. The unit develops an impressive 306 hp and 450Nm of torque, and allows the cars to sprint from 0-100km/h in under 5 seconds.

But more than just outright straight-line speed, the M135i xDrive and M235i xDrive Gran Coupe also pack in a whole host of engineering technology to ensure a sporty drive for enthusiasts. They include BMW’s actuator contiguous wheel slip limitation (ARB) technology as standard, a feature first seen in the BMW i3s, and allows wheel slip to be controlled more sensitively and quickly during cornering situations.

ARB works with the car’s Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system, and is assisted by BMW Performance Control, which helps to apply the brakes at the individual wheel as required while cornering for more agile handling.

Both the M135i and M235i Gran Coupe come with BMW’s xDrive intelligent all-wheel-drive as standard, for maximum traction in all driving conditions. They also feature Launch Control, which puts the car’s peak torque of 450Nm available in the first and second gear for the fastest possible acceleration from a standstill.

They all come together to make the M135 xDrive and M235i xDrive Gran Coupe a pair of small but mighty machines, with performance that belies their compact size. Who says small can’t be powerful?


BMW’s most powerful four-cylinder engine ever, the 2.0-litre turbocharged powerplant develops 306 hp and 450 Nm of torque from 1,750 to 4,500rpm. This allows the M135i xDrive to go from 0-100km/h in 4.8 seconds, and the M235i xDrive Gran Coupe in 4.9 seconds.


Both the M135i xDrive and M235i xDrive Gran Coupe feature a front-axle Torsen limited-slip differential integrated into the eight-speed Steptronic Sport transmission, giving them a sportier handling edge by creating a locking effect between the front wheels.


The Variable Damper Control (VDC) system comes standard on both the M135i xDrive and M235i xDrive Gran Coupe, and combines with the standard adaptive suspension to offer a broad spectrum of ride control whatever the road situation.


A distinctive and striking grille design with a three-dimensional mesh, in place of the traditional classical vertical bars, marks out the M135i xDrive and M235i xDrive Gran Coupe on the roads. They are complemented by the larger outer air intakes, and add an extra depth to the front end design.


Technology is on display with the latest BMW OS 7.0 interface, including dual 10.25-inch display screens, smartphone connectivity via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The M135i xDrive boasts 33mm more kneeroom for rear passengers over its predecessor, while the M235i xDrive Gran Coupe matches that as well. Both cars up the performance factor with their unique M sport seats with integral head restraints for a distinctive M driving experience.

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