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If you follow BMW at all, you know that right before an existing model comes to an end, the company pulls out all the leftover good bits and throws together a special edition. It’s typically a sportier rendition of an already sporty car, and it usually gets christened with the “is” designation. Need proof? Look at the outgoing 335is.
So with the next-generation 1-series hatchbacks already rolling off the line in Europe, the coupes and convertibles can’t be far behind. Which means the days are numbered for the current E82/E88 coupe/cabrio pair, and out comes the special edition.
The 2013 BMW 135is uses the single-turbo 3.0-liter TwinPower six (N55), but gets a boost of 20 horsepower and 17 lb-ft for a total of 320 and 317 respectively. A six-speed manual gearbox is standard, or the more potent engine can also be paired to an optional seven-speed DCT ‘box. A sport exhaust adds aural excitement, and like the 335is, a bigger radiator has been fitted to deal with the thermal load of those additional horses. A new differential finds its way into the rear axle of the 135is, utilizing high-efficeincy final drive gears set in double helical ball bearings for reduced resistance and operating temperature.
You’ll know a 135is from its standard 18-inch wheels and M Sport appearance package, including blacked-out grille surrounds and exterior mirrors, not to mention the obvious “135is” badge on the trunk. Inside, black sport seats with blue stitching are the giveaway, complimented by stainless steel pedals and special badges.
The 135is will be available this fall in both coupe and convertible form, starting at $44,145 and $48,845 respectively.