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      04-02-2013, 09:55 AM   #1

Drives: 135is #361/586
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: NYC

iTrader: (0)

Cool First Professional Reviews of 135is (Road and Track)

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Of course, R&T loves it...


The 135is is our undisputed favorite BMW of the moment. ...

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.

Can you feel the engine's slight (just six percent) power bump? Not really, but then the 135i never wanted for power. The 135is threatens to roast its rear tires all the way through first gear, screaming to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds—0.2 second quicker than the original twin-turbo 135i. The remainder of the package is classic 1-series: fatigue-proof, adjustable-bolster sport seats; a perfect driving position; great brake feel; a deliciously thick-rimmed miniature steering wheel; and a stubby, accurate shifter.

The 135is and the cars that came before it explain why BMW means more, to more enthusiasts, than any other brand. The Bavarians could slap sedan- and wagon-shaped four-door bodies on this car, call it the new 3-series, and it would easily remain the best car on the road for another decade. FULL REVIEW:

Last edited by Nemco; 04-02-2013 at 10:23 AM.