Road and Track: 2013 BMW 135is Review

1 Series | April 3rd, 2013 by 10
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Jason Cammisa of Road and Track gives a detailed review of the 2013 BMW 135is. The super sport version of the 1 Series Coupe sits …

Jason Cammisa of Road and Track gives a detailed review of the 2013 BMW 135is. The super sport version of the 1 Series Coupe sits above the 135i model, but still below the almighty 1M. Using the same engine as the 135i, the “is” model has been tuned to 320 hp (+20 hp increase) and 317 lb-ft of torque (+17 lb.ft) while maintaining the same emissions level and MPG ratings of the 135i.

A Performance exhaust system complements the increased engine performance and provides a sporty exhaust tone. The engine cooling system has been upgraded to match the additional performance output by adding a larger, and more powerful radiator fan and an auxiliary radiator.

BMW 135is models are offered with either a standard 6-Speed manual transmission or an optional 7-Speed Double Clutch Transmission.

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The base prices for the 135is Coupe and Convertible start at $44,145 and $48,845 respectively (including $895 destination and handling).

Here is an excerpt from the review:

Best of all, that car would speak to people who genuinely love driving, not pander to the masses of clueless consumers who influence J.D. Power ratings. This is the stuff of details: In the 135is, you can use your left hand to access the steering-wheel-mounted volume control, your right free to move the shift lever. You can operate the cruise control without taking your eyes off the road because it’s controlled by a stalk, not the wheel-mounted buttons found on other cars (and that will be found on all future BMWs), which you have to look at to use.

It’s also a matter of larger focus. The 135is doesn’t have a single “Sport” button in its cockpit, because a proper sports coupe doesn’t need a button to tell it when to be sporty. The addition of an “s” to the rear emblem doesn’t mean much—this car is essentially the old 135i Sport package, replete with six-piston front brakes, sport suspension, and an aero body kit. The single-turbo straight-six motivating the 135i since 2011 gets an additional 20 hp and 17 lb-ft of torque, an upgrade that’s been available through BMW’s accessory catalog for more than a year.

And it has an exhaust that begs you to leave the door open when you start it in the morning, just so you can hear it. Forget Folgers; the best part of waking up is the prospect of setting off car alarms when you light off your 135is before work. The performance exhaust has what we like to think of as pretend mufflers. They pretend to quiet down the engine’s roar, and your rich neighbor will pretend that the little BMW doesn’t sound as potent as his Ferrari.

Full review at Road and Track