InsideLine drives the new 2013 BMW M135i. The M Performance Automobile hatchback goes on sale in Europe this fall and at 39,850 euros, we said in our review that the M135i solves the promise of a “fun to drive for relatively little money.”
Let’s see an excerpt from the review:
“But damn BMW’s logic — this car is fun, and all the more appealing because in Europe, it costs a handy $15,000 less than the limited-edition 1M. The 1M, of course, is a near full-blooded Motorsport car, whereas this M135i is an intermediate M Performance model, positioned between the 135i and the 1M. But the differences are not as great as you’d expect.
How Close to the 1M?
The 3.0-liter straight-6 in the 2013 BMW M135i is rated at 315 hp, or 20 hp less than the 1M’s version of the same engine. Both cars deliver 332 pound-feet of torque, although the M135i’s torque peak arrives 200 rpm earlier at 1,300 rpm.
The M135i gets its own unique suspension tuning compared to the standard 1 Series hatchback, along with standard M Sport brakes that feature fixed calipers and larger discs front and rear. The steering setup still isn’t as aggressive as the 1M coupe, and the M135i doesn’t get as many aluminum suspension parts, but the cars end up weighing within 60 pounds of each other.
Unlike the 1M coupe, the M135i can be ordered with an automatic, an eight-speed unit in this case that includes paddle shifters. Thus configured, the 135i will zoom-flick, zoom-flick, zoom-flick through the gears to 62 mph in just 4.9 seconds according to BMW. Go for the six-speed manual and the time actually rises to 5.1 seconds because its wider-spaced ratios are less speedily swapped.
Much of the M135is’s considerable entertainment repertoire is provided by the potent straight-6. This Twinpower motor features a twin-scroll turbocharger, variable timing of both inlet and exhaust cams, variable valve timing and direct injection, the combination of features almost managing to eliminate turbo lag. Indeed, you must actively search it out to find any and only then will you uncover a (slightly) slow-moving tachometer below 1,300 rpm. Then again, that’s where the engine hits its torque peak, one that is maintained through to 4,500 rpm, so the M135i is only torque-deficient at just over idle speed. We can live with that.”