So what's different with this lightly revised model? Not too much. BMW has retuned the camber settings, plus a new hydromount has been installed for the front suspension, while the mounts for the trailing and control arms at the rear axle have been revised. The steering's now a little sharper and the engine note is now a little rortier. That's about it. Otherwise, things are as before, which means there's a 2.0-litre four cylinder turbocharged 306hp engine beneath the bonnet, in place of the previous generation model's sonorous 3.0-litre straight six. And AWD in place of that older car's classic rear-driven set-up.
The performance on offer (rest to 62mph in 4.8s en route to 155mph) exactly replicates that of the old generation pre-2019 340hp M140i model. And of course, compared to that previous design, this modern-era M135i has the added advantage of standard xDrive 4WD, Launch Control and a mechanical Torsen limited slip differential to get its grip to the gravel. But it's a very different kind of car from before that still these days merely replicates what's on offer from obvious rivals like the Golf R and the Audi S3. There's not the same challenge in driving it that characterised the previous generation pre-2019-era model - but then, you might have expected that.
As before with the M135i xDrive, this car differs from lesser 1 Series variants with its stiffer suspension set-up and features a 10mm-lower ride height, with two-stage adaptive dampers being optional. At the front, the subframe features an extra couple of bracing bars for extra steering accuracy and the electrically assisted rack features a quick ratio of 14:1, as opposed to the standard car's 15:1. Finally, the brake master cylinder is bigger than that of a standard 1 Series for better response and more consistent pedal pressure.