BMW helped the driving dynamics of the 306-horsepower M135i engine, which is fairly normal by M standards, with a technical update. Does the follow up work?
We’ll try it now without the usual obituary of the predecessor, and instead simply accept the BMW M135i as it has meanwhile become: a compact, traditionally built, hard-edged sportsman who has recently been finding it increasingly difficult to redeem its initial promises. Because M does not represent the mean.
To understand each other correctly, it is not about the engine. Unlike its predecessor, it has only four cylinders, is tangentially installed and has a relatively fragile charisma, but comes super fast with boost pressure, spins hard and with 306 horsepower is exactly where the music plays in its class.
However, motivation is lacking for this crucial development step to the top. the essence? It is associated with an unfavorable balance and the chassis of the all-wheel drive system, which integrates the rear axle into the power flow according to the Haldex principle. Depending on the situation, a maximum of 50 percent of 450 Nm, but either completely or not at all. However, in the meantime, parts of the competition have so-called torque dividers in action, which split the rear axle’s torque, and so can direct it to the rear wheels in a targeted manner — via clutches, in favor of a spinning effect in the direction of the steering.
And that’s exactly what BMW can’t do, which tastes a bit bitter in that a) you know what torque split systems do with the VW Golf R, for example; b) You have to keep in mind that the simple M135i costs 2,000 euros more.
bring out the best
Just what do you do? One variant would be sitting out of position in order to attack again at some point with the rear. But since M also stands for doers, the decision was made to tackle the problem head on. The decisive factor for this development accessory was not only the manageable results in various performance tests, but also the data from customer cars. They are registered anonymously as part of the services and, according to BMW, prove that the driver of the M135i requires the maximum potential of his compact sports car as M3 or M4 drivers. And because, you know, you weren’t quite satisfied with this capability yourself, we’re sitting in this stark yellow M135i today, which – as it’s officially called – has updated driving dynamics.
What is behind it? To put it bluntly: a kind of two-stage plan to get out of misery. On the one hand, all the relevant characteristics have been tightened: all-wheel drive and wheel slip reduction now work more aggressively, the connection between the throttle and the engine has been tightened, and the recalibrated steering allows it to hold 1.525 kg more firmly at high speeds. Plus, there’s a second ear aid: a rough roar when the engine is off, and a dull exhaust knock when the gas is released – all with the friendly support of the audio system.
On the other hand, the standard M sports suspension got to the heart of the matter: the negative camber of the front axle was increased by 25 percent, and stronger bearings for the rear arms and wishbones were used on the rear axle, increasing camber stiffness by about 30 percent. effect of all? clearly! It’s not like the first series hasn’t been catalyzed yet, it just lacks the ability to put that intent on the road. And above all: around the corner. Thanks to exercise, it now develops significantly more traction in the drivetrain. Or in other words: the pudding of the muscular system, of which we were often told before, has largely hardened: instead of bending under more severe orders, the kinematics counteract it with a blow; Steering responds more precisely around the central position; And even if the rear axle is still the most intimidating of all on an M model, you can suddenly feel an effort to actively cooperate in cornering.
Tight but unusual
It is not only convincing that the BMW M135i squeezes the lateral dynamics with more bite, but above all the fact that it does not deteriorate significantly. Of course, this is a mathematical model and of course you can feel it. But even with the optional 19-inch wheels, which give the motion sequence more contour, all road edges remain rounded. No rattling, no sideways. summit!
In any case, the optional replacement isn’t a necessary alternative: Although the two-stage adaptive suspension in Comfort mode takes some tension out of context, since the axle and bearing geometry remain unchanged here, it feels spongy in the sporty program than a mechanical solution.
No, those times are gone.
Naturally! The dynamism and driving pleasure are the same.
Admittedly, all this is highly read for peace, driving pleasure, and pancakes. And within the scope of technical possibilities, this is actually what is meant. However, one problem remains: the brakes, which have only been given a new saddle color, but have not been revised in terms of their fairly mild condition — at least if you take the Hockenheimring as standard.
|BMW M135i xDrive|
|Base price||52350 EUR|
|external dimensions||4319 x 1799 x 1434 mm|
|trunk size||380 to 1200 liters|
|Displacement / Engine||1998 cc/4 cylinder|
|perfomance||225 kW / 306 hp at 5000 rpm|
|maximum speed||250 km/h|
|consumption||6.3 liters per 100 km|
Show all technical data