ON THE ROAD- IAN LYNAS PREVIEWS ANOTHER BMW FAST LANE CONTENDER
BMW do it so well when it comes to the fast lane, their motor sport heritage shines through, giving them a slight edge over Audi and Mercedes. Down the years I have had the opportunity to report from on the road and track at numerous locations around the world. Now the German carmaker has honed the track inspired characteristics of their four cylinder high performance model M135i for the premium compact segment of the market.
Detail upgrades to the chassis components endow the M135i XDrive with enhanced performance and the retuned drive soundtrack in the cabin makes the driving experience even more engaging. The standout power of the 225kW 306bhp four cylinder engine with TwinPower Turbo technology under the bonnet is harnessed more effectively than ever to produce the captivating dynamics and driving experience for which BMW is so well known. Allied to the impressive engine is the eight speed Steptronic Sport transmission and a package for stopping power to match the performance. The customary Dynamic Stability Control functions are complimented by Performance Control, which optimises the car’s steering behaviour with judicious application of the brakes. Specially tuned M Sport steering and exceptionally powerful M Sport brakes can also be found as part of standard equipment and the M135i rides on 18 inch M light alloy wheels and there is the option of 19 inch alloys in a variety of designs. Detailed set up modifications regarding the chassis ensures precise controllable driving characteristics even when pushing hard on a race track. The optimised traction enables you to explore the car’s performance limits with confidence especially when engaged in high speed cornering. The ideal car to take to Mondello Park or Kirkistown for a Track Day. The camber values for the front wheels have been increased to optimise absorption of lateral forces when powering through corners. A new hydro mount has additionally been used to attach the front suspension wishbones, while the mounts for the trailing and control arms at the rear axle have also been redesigned. At the same time, the spring and damping systems have undergone recalibration and the result is a significant improvement in roll behaviour while cornering, which as further beneficial effect on steering wheel feel when the car’s sporting abilities are put to the test.
The twin tailpipe exhaust system facilitates power delivery from the engine with its reduced backpressure, while also producing a characterful sound of a sporty nature. The distinctive sound is transmitted into the interior, where it is amplified through the speakers of the audio system. If you enjoy a car of this type, the sound produced is very satisfying and the revised soundtrack conveys the signature four cylinder engine note of a BMW M model to those onboard more than ever. The instant response to every move of the accelerator is translated into corresponding acoustic signals. From the powerful building of torque under acceleration through to the drop off load on the overrun, the power unit’s operating state is clearly discernable at all times. Starting the engine prompts a sound composition specially created for the M135i, adding yet another facet to the rich sound experience inside.
Looks always go hand in hand with a car of this type and a new selection of striking paint finishes have been introduced to accompany the performance enhancements and underscores the individual character of this BMW M model. The BMW Individual paint finishes bring even greater visual impact to this heart stirring model. New additions to the range of colours include M paint shade Sao Paulo Yellow non metallic, as well as Frozen Orange metallic and Frozen Grey. When you see this BMW on road or track it will certainly stand out from its competitors, few in number. Another sure fore winner from BMW, every inch a driver’s car.