BMW has refreshed its range-topping M135 xDrive; it now gets a new quad exhaust, a revised front end but no more power.

What is going on with BMW car design at the moment? Is it just me or is it a bit hit and miss? Take the fresh M3 for example, that front end still feels marmite. Sadly, I don’t think things have improved here with the arrival of the new BMW M135 xDrive, either. Well, facelifted. And quite literally facelifted too, as the 1er gets a revised front end that for me hasn’t improved the current-generation’s appeal. That being said, underneath things are are still sharp, with the B48 engine producing a cool 296bhp.

Yep, gone are the days of 300+bhp M-lites these days like in the F2X generation, the turbocharged four-cylinder engine is capped at 296bhp and presumably the same in torque, although BMW hasn’t confirmed this yet. That being said, 0-62mph comes in at a tenth slower than the current car, 4.9 seconds.

side profile shot of new bmw m135 new bigger wheels on 1 series

Tell me more about the facelifted M135 xDrive

You might have noticed I’ve not included the “i” in the M135. That’s not a typo. BMW has elected to remove “i” from petrol-powered cars to avoid confusion with its electric range. As a result, you’re looking at the facelifted BMW M135 xDrive. No “I”.

Now the name’s out of the way, as you’d expect from a midlife update, there’s not a whole lot changed. The new front end is the biggest talking point. The lights have been sort of stretched, which looks a little odd. At the back you’ve now got a quad exhaust and the side skirts have grown too. The wheels are slighter bigger, as are the breaks and the suspension a touch stiffer.

new bmw m135 interior

Inside, the cabin is now dominated by the 10.25in (in front of the driver) and 10.7in (central) curved display that appears in other models across the range.

Standard trim has been improved, though, with heated, leather-free seats making the list. There’s also a redesigned steering wheel and gear selector.

rear shot of new bmw m135 rear driving shot of new 1 series

How much is the new BMW M135 xDrive?

Prices for the facelifted M135 start at £41,000. BMW has revealed that options to make the car lighter will be available later in the year. We’d hazard a guess at some lighter M Performance wheels, exhaust and carbon ceramics to name a few.

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