The Little Beema with a Big Heart
BMW’s 1 series may have been the smallest, most affordable car in their range at the time but they also catered for the lovers of small cars with big power. The 135i dispensed with the 4 cylinder engines and squeezed in a straight six with a couple of turbos strapped on. If your idea of fun is 300hp through the rear wheels of a little car then this could be for you.
We all know the 1 series hatchbacks. They have been very successful for BMW and they are everywhere on our roads. They are solid, well made and drive well. However, most of them aren’t fast or particularly exciting until you get to the 130i which ramps things up with a 258hp 3 litre straight six. But for those that need even more power and much better looks it’s the 135i Coupe that’s the one to have.
The 135i coupe is like a Staffy bull terrier – muscle-bound, squat and powerful. But unlike the staffy it’s really fast. 0-100kmh comes up in 6 seconds and it’ll keep going until 250kmh. But it’s also comfortable to drive daily and when not on the limit it’s not too thirsty either. The back seat is quite tight and the boot is fairly small but it’s otherwise not too impractical.
Amazingly, the 135i was not the most potent 1 series in the range, that honour goes to the 1M. But the 1M is very rare and very expensive and they already sell for more than they cost when new. The 1M was an instant classic and highly desirable today which means the 135i will likely ride on the 1M’s coat tails into the world of modern classics, if it hasn’t already. For BMW nerds it’s the E30 Mtech to the E30 M3.
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