Two interesting pictures were leaked this week, thanks to the efforts of the guys at BimmerFile. They both depict the all-new BMW M135i (225kW, 450Nm) but from two different angles. The pics themselves are not necessarily interesting since we know the new 1 Series is quite imminent – we’ve seen recent spy pics. They are interesting for the simple reason that the model featured has a rather interesting and telling feature.

As you can see, the badge says M135i on the right, but there is another badge on the left, which says “xDrive”. This essentially confirms that the new M135i features xDrive all-wheel-drive (AWD) and virtually confirms BMW’s new way of thinking, in line with direct rivals like Audi and Mercedes-Benz. Therefore all the competitors in this sub-segment – Audi S3, Mercedes-AMG A 35 and Volkswagen Golf R – feature AWD as standard. BMW has thus eliminated the traction problems it has been encountering when dealing with these foes on a straight line against the clock. It’s the first time we see xDrive in this model, which further makes the case for an AWD M3/ M4 range on the upper ends of the scale.

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