Car Advice Australia is pitting our favorite BMW, the M135i, against the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, Subaru WRX STI and Volkswagen Golf R. The M135i is powered by a six-cylinder unit with a single turbo (N55) rather than twin turbochargers found in the 1M. The 3.0 liter engine produces 320 horsepower and 450 Nm of torque (332 lb-ft) at 1,300 rpm. Redline is set at 7000 rpm.
Because of the extra traction offered by all-drive system, the M135i xDrive model is 0.2 seconds quicker from 0-62mph than the conventional rear-wheel drive variant – 4.7 seconds.
Here is an excerpt from their review:
So when the M135i is ambling along in traffic, auto slurring to a tall ratio, it’s producing maximum torque; and when the throttle meets the carpet, and the horizon is being reeled in, the M135i is also producing all the torque it can almost right up to the point of handing peak power the baton 800rpm past where the torque tapers off.
Yet the turbo six also revs to 7200rpm with a snarly, creamy soundtrack that whets your appetite and wets your… well, other bits.
The BMW six-cylinder couldn’t be more of a contrast to the Subaru four – one is couth, linear, raunchy; the other laggy, whooshy, a firecracker. Not difficult to guess which is which. The WRX STI 2.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder produces 221kW and 407Nm, competitive numbers to push the 1520kg hatch to 100km/h in the low 5s.
Despite being slightly slower than the M135i in a straight line, thanks partially to a 14kW/43Nm deficit and a 75kg weight penalty, the WRX STI actually punches harder out of bends and through the mid range.
Where the BMW cleverly conceals two smaller turbo wheels in one housing, the Subie just gets one great big windmill to thrust exhaust gases back into the engine. Like any big wheel it takes time to overcome inertia and spin, so while it does move more wind than the BMW, it needs more time to do it.
See our test drive of the BMW M135i xDrive