Hot new BMW

The age-old philosophy of jamming a big engine in a small car has never been one lost on BMW. In fact, you could argue that if one manufacturer in recent times has truly grasped this ethos, then it would almost certainly be the Bavarian company.  They even seem to follow a nice cycle with it too; release new car with sensible engines, let everyone get used to it, jam a STUPIDLY POWERFUL one in there, just because.  Although these days while “big” usually refers to power output, as opposed to pure cubic capacity, BMW has gone the old-fashioned route with the M135i and jammed the newest version of the fantastic 3.0-litre turbo charged inline six-cylinder into it…  Where the last generation 135i and the feral 1M Coupe had the older version with two turbos, the M135i’s version (like the new 335i) gets a single twin-scroll turbo attached to the silky-smooth six. 
With 235kW of power and 450Nm of torque, the M135i will sprint to the legal limit from a standing start in 4.9 seconds when equipped with the standard 8-speed automatic transmission. Go for the optional 6-speed manual and your 0-100 sprint will rise to 5.1 seconds.  Fuel consumption is also lower with the automatic, with BMW claiming 7.5L/100km for the combined cycle (the manual is 8.0).  On the outside the M135i gets larger, more aggressive front air intakes and bi-xenon headlights, M Performance side sills, rear apron and alloy wheels, as well as dual exhausts and LED highlights in the taillights.  On the inside it comes standard with leather sports seats and a leather steering wheel, and as usual, a massive range of options.  But it is the mechanical bits that are largely out of view that make the M135i special. Apart from the monster engine, the hottest 1 Series also gains variable ratio steering, individually tuned suspension and damping systems that sees the car dropped by 10mm and a fixed caliper M Sport brake system with four-piston calipers at the front and two-piston at the rear.  On the road the M135i feels more refined and less aggressive than the 1M or older 135i ever did, but that is something that doesn’t bear out on the stopwatch, as the M135i rattles off the zero to 100 sprint at that phenomenal rate.  The acceleration is unrelenting and completely uninterrupted by gear shifts. The 8-speed auto has been specially calibrated for use in the M135i, and its shifts are stunningly fast and smooth - a slight drop in revs is all the driver perceives under heavy acceleration - and it is almost telepathically good in its operation.  The M135i’s handling is still simply as remarkable as the engine.
Chuck it into a corner and the nose tucks in eagerly and the rear will track around faithfully, following the nose with unerring perfection. Or you can do it the “fun” way and use the power and massive torque to place the rear end at whatever unnecessary angle you may desire…  The fact that the M135i is capable of being docile enough to deal with inner-city commuting simply makes it even more remarkable.  Rather unsurprisingly with a car this good, demand is high, meaning that despite being launched now, the M135i won’t actually be available on these shores until late in the first quarter of next year. But you can rest assured it is most certainly worth the wait.  Models/prices M135i – $85,900

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