Sadly, it's still forbidden fruit.
BMW's excellent hot hatchback is even better for the 2022 model year. The updated BMW M135i xDrive returns with several mechanical enhancements for an even better driving experience. Alas, the M135i xDrive is not sold in the US. Instead, we get the 2 Series Gran Coupe which shares a platform, engine, available all-wheel-drive system, and many other underpinnings. This isn't a major facelift but rather a series of upgrades in light of new competition from Volkswagen and Mercedes-AMG.
BMW says the hot hatch's springs and dampers have been recalibrated for improved roll behavior in corners. The mounts for the trailing and control arms at the rear axle have been redesigned as well, and a new hydromount has been bolted to the front suspension wishbones.
The camber values at the front wheels have been increased to improve the absorption of lateral forces when pushing hard through those corners. What hasn't changed is the mechanical limited-slip differential at the front axle that's built into the eight-speed automatic transmission. A six-speed manual remains unavailable.
The turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder remains the same too, delivering a healthy 302 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque directed to all four wheels. A set of 18-inch M light-alloy wheels come standard and 19-inchers are optional. Dynamic Stability Control and Performance Control remain standard fare. Some new exterior paint colors include Sao Paulo Yellow non-metallic (pictured here), Frozen Orange metallic and Frozen Pure Grey.
The interior design and general layout haven't changed from last year. However, there is a debatable new feature: fake engine noises.
That's right. BMW has added artificial sound from the twin-tailpipe exhaust system. It's transmitted back into the interior courtesy of the audio system's speakers. The automaker describes this "revised soundtrack" as more authentic than ever. The jury is still out on that. We get the feeling serious enthusiasts won't be pleased but the typical everyday buyer will have zero complaints. Bear in mind the M235i xDrive sold in the US also gets fake engine sounds pumped into the cabin. Overseas pricing has not been announced. Nor has an on-sale date.