The future of the sport compact market is looking promising, given a swift kick in the pants by Hyundai’s Genesis Coupe and more manufacturer interest with the Toyota FT-86 concept. While these vehicles look promising from the factory these new cars will go to buyers willing to go the extra step in order to get the most out of their latest purchase. These tuner friendly entry level sports cars are a blessing for enthusiasts looking to have fun alongside the big boys at a much lower price. However there is one smaller European model already on the market that can stake a genuine claim as the King of the sport compact segment.

BMW 135i Project 1 v1.2 by WheelSTO High Resolution Exterior
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The BMW 135i comes with the same twin turbocharged 300 HP inline six cylinder engine as the longer and heavier 335, and much like the long gone Toyota Supra offers an outstanding base from which to extract regal amounts of power. The Chicago based tuner WSTO has a perfect example of what can be done with the smallest of BMW’s range currently offered here in the U.S. with their 135i Project 1 v1.2. Their update is nothing more then a subtle tune on a 135 that is based around an all new Bastuck quad tipped exhaust system surrounded by a carbon fiber diffuser. WSTO then continued the downforce theme with a complete ground effects package and then finished it off with an aggressive 19 inch wheel and tire package that looks absolutely perfect thanks to the H&R lowering springs. Adding a significant amount of go to the 135’s show WSTO tuned the boosted straight six to make a total of 414 HP, more then enough to fly by Hyundais and Toyotas.

Full details after the jump.

Press release

Last June we revealed our very own Project 1 (v1.2). It was wearing an array of parts that suited the 135i well. We received many compliments on what we had done, however we were not finished.

BMW 135i Project 1 v1.2 by WheelSTO High Resolution Exterior
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Our attention first went to the rear of the car. Bastuck had released a prototype US-spec quad exhaust system for the 135i. We still call it prototype as we feel the fitment is a little off for the US Spec cars with the charcoal canister. We did a little customization on our end to make the fit flawless and look like it was built in Bavaria. We are working with Bastuck to remedy the situation. The quad system just like the dual is a full cat-back system (aft of secondary cats) and utilizes Bastuck¡®s own non resonated y-pipe. We opted for the non-resonated version for 2 reasons; less restriction and so we could hear the engine sing. This exhaust really lets the turbo engine sound come through. Slightly more rumble, a bit louder, and a little more \"open sound\" made for music to our ears.

This time around, we wrapped the 4 huge double walled 85mm Bastuck tips with 3D Design\’s Carbon Fiber Diffuser. This is a 100% carbon fiber diffuser beautifully crafted in Japan. The 3D Design diffuser integrated seamlessly into the existing lines of the 1er while accentuating the aggressiveness of the car with its center mesh opening and slightly flared openings for the quad exhaust tips. Installation was simple, utilizing all the stock clips and attachment points as well as stock screws on the bottom. Fitment with the OEM bumper and larger Bastuck tips was next to perfect.

BMW 135i Project 1 v1.2 by WheelSTO High Resolution Exterior
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Of course, being WheelSTO we could not overlook the wheels. We feel as though wheels will either make or break a car. Although the design of the wheel plays a major role, it is not just one factor but a combination of design, offset, color, drop in height and even the rubber that defines the overall feel and look of the car. For months we have been debating what wheels to go with after we decided to bid farewell to our 3pc Klassen wheels. The Klassen wheels were a thing of beauty with smoked lips and sophisticated liquid metal color and 3pc design, but we knew it was time to carry on the aggressive racy theme of the quad exhaust.

We had always been infatuated with Yokohama Advan\’s design styles, and build quality. We even thought about trying to fit the aggressive sizing Advan RS (fitment meant for the E90 3 series). I am sure that we could have pulled it off with some fender rolling and camber adjustment and Frank (our resident drifter would have loved it too). Too bad for Frank, Advan released news of the Advan RZ for BMW fitments and even better, an E82 specific fitment. We jumped on the opportunity by calling our Yokohama distributor to pre order a couple of sets.

BMW 135i Project 1 v1.2 by WheelSTO High Resolution Exterior
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The sizing that was released was 19x8 +45 and 19x9 +50 and we opted for the Gunmetal finish to complete the dark menacing look. We wrapped them in Yokohama Advan AD08, 225/35/19 and 255/30/19. These tires perform incredibly when carving through corners and look great when parked. They run slightly wider than most other major brands and therefore we did encounter some rubbing with our aggressive drop on H&R Sport Springs. With a slightly narrower tire design (perhaps Falken or Toyo), this setup should be a perfect no rubbing solution. Either way, the car felt great and the rubbing was minimal.

BMW 135i Project 1 v1.2 by WheelSTO High Resolution Interior
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Our 1er (version 1.1) grabbed a lot of attention with the matte black vinyl work we had done on the door panels. Whereas this door panel with huge ¡°WSTO¡± on the side worked very well for us ¡°commercially¡±, we wanted a more subtle design that will be the envy of other BMW enthusiasts. The vinyl scheme was stripped but we decided to keep the matte black. Only this time, we added two stripes stretching from the headlights all the way back to the tail lights for a subtle street look. We think that this was an especially nice design by our resident designer/photographer, Johan.

Johan really outdid himself again (he never fails to surprise) and took some amazing pictures of our completed transformation.

BMW 135i Project 1 v1.2 by WheelSTO High Resolution Exterior
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  (555) posted on 01.26.2010

Yeah, the wheels can be the determinant of car’s quality. It can be while it is running fast or just fashioning around the streets. And WheelSTO did a great job with this BMW car. For all I know, it is WheelSTo’s specialty. And they haven’t failed anyone they worked with.

  (858) posted on 01.5.2010

There’s no argument that this car have this "charisma" to attract retailers and what can you say about the performance of this 135i? Its crazy and it has a big jump onto the power output that WheelSTO deserve a props for this one. I personally like the car except the interior.

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