BMW will extend its “is” badging to the 1-series starting this fall, when dealers begin taking deliveries of the 2013 135is coupes and convertibles. Whereas the 335is and Z4 sDrive35is are perhaps halfway between normal models and M cars—sort of M Performance cars before such a thing existed—the 135is is more like a 135i with existing off-the-shelf upgrades.
Engine output for the 135is is rated at 320 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque, increases of 20 and 17 versus a standard 135i. The new car also gets an upgraded cooling system with a more-powerful radiator fan and an auxiliary radiator. BMW devotees will recognize these features from the optional $1447 Performance Power kit available on the 135i—but the 135is is built entirely in the factory, while the Performance Power kit is a dealer-installed package. A BMW Performance exhaust, normally a $1250 option, also is included on the 135is. Shoppers can spec their car with either a standard six-speed stick or an optional seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
For interior and exterior upgrades, the 135is borrows from the standard M Sport package, a $1300 perk for normal 1-series cars. It includes an M steering wheel, sport seats—only the 135is seats can be ordered with blue contrast stitching, though—and black exterior trim in lieu of chrome. A black kidney grille ($125 in the BMW accessories catalog) and black side-mirror caps add to the 135is’s darker look. Stainless steel pedals are installed, a $156 value. A new 18-inch wheel design actually is unique to the 135is. And can you really put a price on the special 135is badges affixed inside and out?
Thanks to: Car and Driver