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2022 BMW M135i xDrive revealed: Mercedes-AMG A35 and Audi S3 on notice as updated hot hatch nears with more noise, better handling and new colours

The M135i xDrive might not look any different, but BMW’s made some important changes underneath.

BMW has revealed the M135i xDrive hot hatch’s first update, which is due in Australian showrooms in the first quarter of next year.

Aside from a range of new paintwork options, the first-generation model looks the same as before, although BMW has been busy making tweaks to its dynamics and “acoustic experience”.

Specifically, in the name of better handling, the M135i now has increased camber on its front wheels, while a new hydromount has been attached to its front suspension wishbones.

Better yet, the mounts for the trailing and control arms at the M135i’s rear axle have also been redesigned, while its springs and dampers have been recalibrated.

Elsewhere, the M135i’s sports exhaust system and its reduced backpressure continues to pump noise into the cabin via the sound system.

However, “the revised soundtrack conveys the signature four-cylinder note of a BMW M model to those onboard more authentically than ever,” according to BMW.

The German brand added: “The instant response to every movement of the accelerator is translated into corresponding acoustic signals.

“From the powerful building of torque under acceleration through to the drop-off in load on the overrun, the power unit’s operating state is clearly discernible at all times.

“Starting the engine prompts a sound composition specially created for the M135i xDrive, adding another facet to the rich acoustic experience inside the car.”

No other changes have been made to the Mercedes-AMG A35 and Audi S3 rival, meaning it’s still motivated by a 225kW/400Nm 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder engine.

The unit is mated to an eight-speed torque-converter automatic transmission and BMW’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system.

Local pricing and full specification details for the upgraded 1 Series flagship are yet to be confirmed, so stay tuned. For reference, the current model is available in entry-level Pure and unnamed flagship variants, at $65,900 and $70,900 plus on-road costs respectively.