Car and Driver reviews the 2011 BMW 135i DCT

1-series | May 16th, 2010 by 4
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The folks over at Car and Driver gives us a glance into what has changed for the BMW 135i in model year 2010. While the …

The folks over at Car and Driver gives us a glance into what has changed for the BMW 135i in model year 2010. While the cosmetic changes are minimal, the 2011 BMW 135i appeals even more to BMW enthusiasts. The 2011 BMW 135i Coupe makes a transition from the several times award winning N54 six-cylinder twin-turbo engine to the newer, more efficient and equally powerful, N55.

The N55 powerplant uses the the innovation of twin-scroll technology and the integration of VALVETRONIC throttle-less intake technology.

This new engine promises even better throttle response and even more fuel efficiency. Thanks to VALVETRONIC, VANOS, and the twin-scroll turbocharger housing, peak torque is reached 100rpm earlier than with the previous engine, and engine boost response is improved across the entire engine speed range.

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N55 develops maximum output of 300 hp at 5,800 rpm, with peak torque of 300 lb-ft available all the way from 1,200–5,000 rpm. The exciting part comes with the 7-speed Double-Clutch Transmission (DCT), the first time an option for the 1 Series Coupe and Convertible.

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So, let’s have a look at their short review on track:

BMW’s 135i coupe and convertible may not look much different for 2011, but with a new turbocharged inline-six engine and a newly available dual-clutch automated manual transmission, the 2011 135i certainly feels different.

We generally prefer the driver involvement of traditional manual transmissions, especially when they’re as good as the ones offered on most BMW models. In the case of the 135i, the fitment of the DCT may close the preference gap for some, and will very likely improve acceleration times. The difference in character between the N54 and N55 seems minimal, at least in this application, but it’s the DCT’s quick shifts that improve the experience, keeping the engine in the power better than the automatic was able to. We expect that the DCT will bring 0-to-60-mph times down by a tenth or two compared to manual-equipped 135s, into the mid-four-second range. The quickest 135i we’ve tested, a manual-equipped coupe, took only 4.7 seconds to reach 60, while a three-pedal convertible completed the task in 4.9.

So the good news is that the switch from twin- to single-turbo six hasn’t affected the 135i’s character noticeably. As long as BMW’s output claims are on the up and up, performance should improve, too—we’ll wait for a formal test session to confirm that. Those who would have chosen the automatic last year will be happy with the dual-clutch upgrade. The better news is that the three-pedal manual is still available—at least for now. Let’s keep it that way, okay BMW?

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[Source: Car and Driver ]