M135i Ring runner in Christmas videoComment on this story
It is, we must say, a marriage made in heaven: BMW's smallest, lightest body, and its iconic three-litre, straight six with twin-scroll turbo - we've lost count of how many times it's won Engine of the Year - with its wastegate screwed down to squeeze out 235kW and 450Nm at 4500rpm.
It's called the M135i and it sprints from 0-100km/h in 5.1 seconds (or 4.9 with the auto transmission, according to BMW) and tops out an electronically limited 250km/h - but most of all, it's a hot-hatch-sized ass-kicker with rear-wheel drive.
Which is how Auto Sport magazine managed to throw a bog-stock, manual transmission M135i arounda full lap of the Nurburgring in 8min18 - just three seconds slower than the 1 Series M Coupé and seven seconds quicker than the (much heavier) E46 M3.
Now literally everybody is climbing on the bandwagon - particularly BMW Switzerland, who put racing driver Martin Tomczyk and the Zurich Acapella Group in an M135i on the Circuit de L'Anneau du Rhin for a rendition of Jingle Bells that would have had Santa in stitches.
‘Tis the season, as they say…