The all-new BMW 1 Series has reached Australian shores.
Two grades will be offered initially, the 118i that we’re not that fussed with and the M135i xDrive which we most definitely are.
It’s the first time the 1 Series has been offered with all-wheel drive in Australia and the M135i launches into battle against the soon-to-arrive Mercedes-AMG A35 and soon-to-depart Audi S3, though a new one will arrive sometime in 2020.
Pricing starts from $63,990, a $4000 increase over the outgoing M140i, but BMW’s new hot hatch is a very different beast, trading its 250kW/500Nm 3.0-litre turbocharged straight six for a 225kW/450Nm 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder. Nevertheless, performance is brisk, 0-100km/h claimed to take 4.8sec.
BMW Australia has offset the price hike with extra equipment, the M135i coming standard with the M Sport package, which includes a leather steering wheel, anthracite headliner, M Sport brakes, steering and rear spoiler and upgraded electric seats including integrated headrests and greater side bolstering.
Also standard are 19-inch wheels, keyless entry and go, parking assistant with rear-view camera, a 10.25-inch infotainment screen with one-year of free Apple CarPlay, wireless smartphone charging, a 9.2-inch head-up display, leather upholstery, adaptive LED headlights with high-beam assist and a 16-speaker 464-Watt harmon kardon stereo system.
Option packages include the $2900 Enhancement package (metallic paint, panoramic glass roof, active cruise control), $923 Comfort Package (front seat heating and lumbar support; heated steering wheels) and $1200 Convenience Package (auto tailgate; luggage compartment package including storage net; through-loading system).
As you’d expect, active safety is well catered-for, the M135i packing automatic emergency braking, lane departure and lane change warning, rear cross-traffic alert and collision prevention and BMW’s new ‘ARB’ stability control system, lifted from the i3, which is claimed to control wheel slip 10 times faster than a traditional system.
Keep your eyes peeled for a first local review of the new BMW M135i xDrive.