Instead of giving the M135i xDrive a facelift, BMW improved its suspension

Whenever BMW decides to update one of its models, they give them what they call a Life Cycle Impulse (LCI). It's effectively a fancier word for what is essentially a refresh/facelift.

Recently, however, BMW revealed the 2022 M135i xDrive. But unlike most updates or refreshes, this hatchback still looks the same as before. From the LED headlights and taillights to the bodywork and alloy wheels, this souped-up 1 Series Hatch sports no visual upgrades.

BMW M135i xDrive image

So what did they change on this particular model? Instead of changing the design, BMW decided to upgrade the suspension. Unlike before, the 2022 M135i one now comes with recalibrated springs and dampers that help keep the vehicle planted to the road while cornering. Meanwhile, the mounts for the trailing and control arms on the rear axle have been fine-tuned to make it more stable.

Moving to the front axle, it gets a new hydromount to attach the front suspension wishbones. Last but not least, the camber on the front wheels has been increased to better deal with the lateral forces during cornering.

BMW M135i xDrive image

Despite the suspension changes, the 2022 M135i xDrive uses the familiar 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four. The engine cranks out 306 PS with 450 Nm of torque and is paired to an eight-speed automatic gearbox that sends power to all four wheels. As before, it retains the mechanical limited-slip differential for improved traction.

While you can enjoy the sound of the 2.0-liter engine thanks to the twin-pipe exhaust, BMW also installed a sound generator inside the hot hatch. Piped into the cabin through the sound system's speakers, they say it delivers “the signature four-cylinder note of a BMW M model to those onboard more authentically than ever”. While this is a nice touch, BMW could have modified the exhaust itself so it delivers a throatier noise instead.

BMW M135i xDrive image

The 2022 BMW M135i xDrive is now available in Europe, with other markets soon to follow. Like the new shade of Sao Paulo Yellow? You can order it through BMW Individual.