Do four exhaust outlets equal more power?

    BMW has been spied testing a facelifted 1 Series hatchback in what appears to be high-performance M135i xDrive guise ahead of a likely debut in 2023.

    But unlike the current M135i xDrive and M135i Pure xDrive, which have one exhaust outlet on each side, this one features four in total.

    It’s unclear if BMW will update the engine line-up or outputs for this facelifted model.

    The current M135i models pump out 225kW of power and 450Nm of torque from a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, mated with an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive.

    While that’s more than the 2.0-litre turbo in the front-wheel drive 128ti (180kW/380Nm) and close to the rival Mercedes-AMG A35 (225kW/400Nm), there’s still daylight between the M135i and the hot Mercedes-AMG A45. Its fellow German pumps out 310kW and 500Nm from a turbocharged 2.0-litre.

    From the front, this sporty facelifted BMW 1 Series prototype seems to have a redesigned front fascia with slimmer and rounder headlights.

    There’s a large radar box that appears to bridge the cap between the kidney grille sections, which remain a similar size to the current model.

    Around the side it seems like this particular 1 Series prototype has a lower ride height compared to a previously spied prototype, as well as larger brake discs.

    In addition to the aforementioned quad exhaust outlets, there’s also a redesigned rear bumper, and we also expect to see updated tail lights as well.

    We’ve yet to see a photo of the interior but the facelifted 1 Series could be another BMW model to receive the “curved dash” that houses a digital instrument cluster and infotainment touchscreen in one assembly.

    BMW is rolling out this design feature across its range, and the updated 1 Series is expected to have a similar curved dash as the 2 Series Active Tourer, which isn’t available locally.

    This model has a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster and a 10.7-inch central touchscreen. They both run the latest BMW iDrive OS8.0 infotainment software, with satellite navigation as standard.

    The third-generation F40 1 Series has been on sale in Australia since 2019. It’s the first generation of 1 Series to use the UKL2 front-/all-wheel drive architecture, with all previous generations using a rear-wheel drive platform.

    This UKL2 platform is also used on the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe, X1 and X2, as well as the Mini Countryman and Clubman.

    Since the launch of the current generation 1er, BMW has introduced the hot front-wheel drive 128ti and a tweaked M135i xDrive variant.

    A recently revealed update for the M135i xDrive sees it receive more camber on the front wheels, a new mount for the front suspension wishbones, redesigned mounts for the rear trailing and control arms, and a new exhaust system. Nothing has changed under the bonnet though.

    Three colours including Sao Paulo Yellow, Frozen Orange metallic and Frozen Pure Grey have also been added to the palette.

    Click an image to view the full gallery.

    MORE: Everything BMW 1 Series

    Jack Quick

    Jack Quick is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne. Jack studied journalism and photography at Deakin University in Burwood, and previously represented the university in dance nationally. In his spare time, he loves to pump Charli XCX and play a bit of Grand Theft Auto. He’s also the proud owner of a blue, manual 2020 Suzuki Jimny.

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