This month we buckle up tight as Andrew Richmond takes a spin in BMW’s new 135i Sport Coupe, courtesy of McGuigan BMW.
When I took on the task of writing for Focus Magazine Motoring section five cars ago, I promised to deliver cars that provided a sense of excitement and enjoyment in everyday driving. We’ve put to the test cars such as the Evolution X Lancer, Mercedes Benz AMG C63 and the ultra sleek BMW Z4 Roadster.
This month, I was initially worried when Shaun Ferguson presented me with a one series coupe … the baby shape of all Beamers! However, upon closer inspection I was relieved to find that this little tin lid was BMW’s 1 series range topping 135i M Coupe … an angry twin turbo six cylinder with appearance and personality to match!
On the inside, this car was fitted with black leather seats for four, with matching black carpet, dashboard and the usual climate control knobs and buttons in all the right places. However, for the first time in a long time, I was confronted with a clutch and your traditional manual transmission … no fancy sequential boxes or ‘tiptronics’ here – how refreshing!
Hints that the ‘baby beamer’ had a lot more to give included a sports gear shifter, matching black leather sports steering wheel and scuff plates inside the door with the red and blue ‘M’ badge – the symbol of BMW’s Motorsport division, and a hint that there was more under the bonnet. More technology existed than I had time to utilise, including the playing of your favourite tunes by disc, iPod or USB drive. Sound system controls are located on the dash or by using buttons on the sport steering wheel, where you can also control your phone if you have Bluetooth capability.
While the two front seats are very comfortable, let’s face it … this squirt is no people mover, so attempting to squeeze adults in the rear seats might be okay for a short drive, but be guaranteed of complaints if you attempt any reasonable distance. Surprisingly enough though, I reckon you’d easily fit the golf clubs in the boot.
The exterior as tested arrived with the optional metallic black paint, which suited the car down to the ground. Aggressively styled front air dams, side skirts, rear spoiler and bumper are all part of the standard package and are done to the typically high standard you’d expect from BMW.
Under the arches, the car rides firmly but comfortably over BMW Motorsport 18 inch alloy wheels, with the ‘love them or hate them’ run flat tyres. The run flats alleviate the need to carry a spare in the boot, saving weight and space, and due to their thick side wall construction, are capable of travelling reasonable distances even when flat, until you reach a BMW Service Centre or tyre repairer.
For the techs, the 135i is sure to impress. Under the hood power is delivered by a 6 cylinder in line engine with High Precision Injection and twin turbos! Two parallel turbo chargers rapidly build up pressure and deliver outstanding torque, 400 Nm at only 1,300 rpm.
For the numbers man, read on … it will boost you from 0-100 km/h in 5.3 seconds and is electronically speed limited to 250 km/h for only if you ever find yourself off the road and on the track. The engines maximum performance output is 225 kw (306 hp) at 5,000rpm. Don’t worry about fuel … the average consumption is around 9.2 litres per 100 km.
Conclusion: in case you can’t already tell, I absolutely loved this car! Its power to weight ratio gives it go kart like performance which almost brings a smile to your face with every gear change and tight corner.
It looks great, the exhaust note sounds awesome and it delivers pure fun with every corner! For approximately $85,000 on the road, it’s definitely an expensive small car. However, when you consider the starting prices for performance cars such as an M3, M5 or C class AMG Benz, it’s a fraction of their cost and delivers good value for money in the performance car stakes.
I’m sorry yet again to you yummy mummies or elder sisterhood … but this car simply isn’t for you. Leave it to the young divas! However, I promise to do my research and come up with a real crowd pleaser for you and your offspring next month.
In the market for a performance BMW under $100k, then this car’s for you. Contact Shane McGuigan or Shaun Ferguson at McGuigan BMW; I’d strongly recommend you test this one yourself, but be warned … you’re going to love it!
Keep it safe on our roads.