Some interesting info comes out of a recent interview by Jens Meiners of Car and Driver with the BMW M President, Dr. Friedrich Nitschke.
In the interview, when asked about the M135i
concept, Dr. Nitschke confirms that the production version will be virtually identical to the concept and powered by the N55 engine. It will also come with both manual and automatic transmission options, as well as an optional xDrive AWD. The manual and AWD options would have been popular with the North American market, but unfortunately Dr. Nitschke once again confirms that the F20 hatchback will not be making it to the U.S. (But, Dr. Nitschke has confirmed that a M135i coupe [or M235i coupe as it may be called] will be available in North America).
M Performance 7 Series
When asked whether BMW M has plans to bring an M Performance 7 Series to market, the M President lets on that it is being considered.
BMW M Supercar
Dr. Nitschke admits that BMW M has the technology, know-how, carbon fiber technology, and overall competence to build a supercar of the mid or rear-engined variety, but have not been given a "final 'go'" (presumably from the BMW Board). And no, there will not be an M version of the i8 either.
There are some more interesting topics covered by Jens during the interview, including discussions about BMW's use of turbos and manual transmissions. Catch the full interview at C&D