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Future models - BMW - 1 Series - 135I Coupe

Hotter twin-turbo 135i Coupe in pipeline

Baby boomer: BMW's 135i Coupe may be in line for a rev up via a performance kit.

BMW is set to release a faster 135i Coupe flagship in the spirit of the 2002tii

BMW logo9 Dec 2009

By BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS

BMW AUSTRALIA is investigating the introduction of an M3-emulating 1 Series Coupe with more power and torque than the current range-topping 135i Coupe sometime before the end of next year.

The limited-edition version would be a more focussed performance variant created from add-on accessories fitted at a dealership.

Delivering 240kW of power and up to 450Nm of torque, the same outputs as the engine in the $200,000-plus 740i, it would be powered by a modified iteration of the 135i Coupe’s 3.0-litre twin-turbo six-cylinder petrol engine.

This compares to the regular 135i Coupe’s 225kW and 400Nm outputs and should cut at least 0.2 seconds off the existing model’s (conservative) claimed 5.3-second 0-100km/h dash time, potentially making it a sub-five-second 0-100km/h proposition and therefore almost as quick as the V8-powered M3.

Other changes are expected to include lowered suspension, bigger wheels and perhaps even a two-tone colour scheme in the vein of the 2007 BMW Concept 1 Series tii show car.

Inspiration for the upgraded 135i Coupe - which is the top-selling variant of the two-door 1 Series line-up - is believed to have come from this Tokyo motor show special.

14 center imageLeft: BMW 135i Coupe.

If it gets the go-ahead, numbers would be limited to between 20 and 50 kits for 135i Coupe upgrades. Speculation suggests 35 will be produced for 2010 and 2011.

BMW is refusing to talk about pricing, but the premium is expected to be in about $20,000 over the existing 135i Coupe, which kicks off from $72,230.

That would also make the hi-po 135i two-door eligible for the Bathurst 12 Hour production car race as it will still be priced well below the event's performance car price ceiling of about $125,000.

“It is still early days,” says BMW Australia PR boss Toni Andreevski.

“The 135i Coupe has become such an icon car in its segment that we think there is an opportunity for a limited run edition.

“It’s an idea we are studying at the moment. There’s room for a special model in that (sub-$80,000 sports car) segment.

“The idea is to offer it as a package that’s more than a tuning kit.

“It would be a dealer fit option.

“(BMW Australian MD Stavros Yallouridis) says he wants a nimble version of the 135i Coupe.” Asked if BMW Australia would use the famous tii moniker to differentiate the production 135i Coupe from the sportier version, Mr Andreevski said that was highly unlikely.

“The tii is a very famous badge," he said. "We would have to be very careful with it.

“(And) to be frank we have not yet decided to do it. The whole idea of this is to promote the BMW Performance (range of accessories)… and what it offers.”

The first and only BMW wearing the tii badge sold in Australia was the 2002tii from April 1973 to September 1975.

It delivered around 97kW and 176Nm from a 2.0-litre single-cam eight-valve four-cylinder petrol engine driving the rear wheels via a four-speed manual transmission.

‘tii’ stands for touring international, injection – and the 2002tii was one of the first BMWs to feature fuel-injection.

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