BMW 135i vs Mazda MX-5…not the type of comparison one gets to see every day. Edmunds takes the two vehicles to a track day.
Let’s hear what they had to say.
“So with a top-end budget of $40,000, Associate Editor Mark Takahashi and Photo Editor Kurt Niebuhr face-off to see which track day weapon reigns supreme. The pre-grid lineup consists of Takahashi in a BMW 135i, while Niebuhr hops in his Mazda MX-5.
Niebuhr: What can I say about the 135i? Well, for starters it’s really expensive. That bottom of the barrel Bimmer will be tough to get out the door for less than 40 thousand dollars. That’s 40 large for a car that could very well wind up in the wall the first time you hit the track. Maybe this is just me and my emaciated wallet talking but I just wouldn’t want to take that risk.
It’s also too heavy. At nearly 3400 it’s nearly 1000 pounds (!) heavier than the MX-5. Oh sure, the Bimmer’s got the motor to deal with the weight, but the extra half ton will take its toll after a track day or two. If you don’t burn through a set of tires first ($1,000), you’ll lay waste to a set of brakes in no time. Not to mention wheel bearings, axle seals and anything else that will be hurt by all the heat generated by charging that car around a race track.
One more thing; it’s too fast. What? Yes, too fast. Having all that power will do nothing more than to mask any mistakes you’re making. Rather than learning a better line or working on your braking, you’ll simply use the power to pass less powerful cars but better driven cars on every straightaway. Sure, you might be one of the fast cars on the track, but unless you’re diligent and really seek out instruction, it would be all too easy to become just another mediocre driver with a fast car.”