BMW 1 Series Coupe Forum / 1 Series Convertible Forum (1M / tii / 135i / 128i / Coupe / Cabrio / Hatchback) (BMW E82 E88 128i 130i 135i)


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      04-15-2019, 10:28 AM   #23
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Drives: 135i M Sport
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: CO

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Originally Posted by xQx View Post
I can answer that

I've not had the pleasure of driving one, but I've read feedback that driving a high end Porsche 911 is no fun on public roads because it takes very little skill or co-ordination to drive around most corners at the posted speed limit.

They're simply too competent to be engaging at road speeds; and you really need to be risking your license to feel like you're pushing your limits or the cars.

I have had the pleasure of driving these: a X5 4.8is (which I could extrapolate is the same experience as a X5M) and a C63 AMG Merc were both no fun in traffic or on windy roads. They were simply too big and too insulated to throw around a corner at the traffic lights, and suffered the same sort of thing as the aformentioned porsche on country roads - it was like driving in a limo at 55 miles per hour, and if you hugged a corner rated for 40mph it'd just drive where you pointed it.

The 135i is much smaller, but (especially once modified) it's power to weight ratio isn't that far off the cars above; and it's certainly a much more insulated experience than throwing a Miata, a WRX or a Kia Rio around in traffic.

But as I said above - I think the 135i is plenty small, plenty unstable and plenty 'raw' to be having fun below 55mph - even with 400rwhp. If anything, I sometimes don't find it fun because it's too challenging and twitchy for me to drive in second gear at more than 80%.

... all that said, I have the convertible version, because - in the same way that many people think driving with an auto is far less engaging than a manual; I think driving with a roof is far less engaging than without

Just like xQx said.

Anyone who has driving a Porsche 914, an MGB, an original Mini Cooper, a Mk1 or Mk2 VW GTI, an E30 318is, or a Miata will know what Iím talking about.

Momentum cars.
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      04-15-2019, 11:25 AM   #24
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Drives: 2006 bmw 325xi
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To the OP
I recently purchased a 135i with some mods as i was looking for more power because i was constantly driving my GTI VR6 at its street limits for years. I have owned and driven many cars, MKi/2/3/4 gtis, porsche 914/944/996 4 and 4s bmw e30/e90 and now this e82.
Let me say this is the toughest car to drive on the daily. I drive it very rarely more then 50% throttle on my 10 mile commute to work. When i first got it it would step out everywhere when getting on it. So i have upgraded suspension to bilstein b12 package and whiteline RSFB inserts and indy500 rear tires. Let me say this transformed the ability of this car and confidence in cornering. Where the car shines is at the track which i just recently did my first track day in it and it is an amazing car on the track.
So yes it can be a could car for what your looking for but you will not be driving it at 10/10ths on the street but it will be fun.
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      04-15-2019, 12:10 PM   #25
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Drives: 2011 135i, Space Grey
Join Date: Apr 2014
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I think it really depends on what roads your drive the car, and how much money you want to put into it to get to where you want the car to be.

As a few people said, stock the car is very difficult to drive fast. Mostly because of loose suspension in the rear with the flimsy rear subframe bushings and loose suspension. Any bump and the rear will jump laterally like it's doing the cha cha slide.

I'm sure someone who has a lot driving talent would be able to push the car faster, but the limiting factor is the size of the driver's man/woman-hood otherwise at the stock setup of the car. The more you modify the suspensions to tighten up and get comfortable with it the easier it is to drive. I'll say that even with coilovers, and a handful of other suspension mods, going briskly through a semi-tight road can still be fun, while knowing that you're still safe and well underneath the limits of the car.
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      04-15-2019, 03:09 PM   #26
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Drives: a turbo coupe
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OP, I drive my 135i every day and have a blast in it. I've got a few suspension mods, some good summer tires, and a small tune. Spirited but responsible driving. Owned the car for almost 9 years, no accidents and 1 ticket for driving 50 in a 35mph zone. Yes, this car is fun on public roads.

2011 135i DCT M SPORT
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      04-15-2019, 05:45 PM   #27

Drives: a sedan'ish coupe
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: US

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Originally Posted by xQx View Post
I appreciate that, but I can say the 135i is very fast in a straight line, but with stock suspension it's a bucket-o-shit in the corners.

My speeds on public roads are very rarely limited by the engine of the car, even in a 1.2 liter naturally aspirated entry-level hatch. The power severely limits your corner-exit speeds, but my corner-entry speeds and straight-line speeds are almost always limited by tires, suspension and speed limit.

If you get a mx5, it's much easier to drive at the limit of the car, because you have a significant windup about about an 1" of throttle input between 'near the edge of traction' and 'over the edge of traction'.

In a 135i, there's often only 1mm of pedal difference between 'near the edge of traction' and 'big power-oversteer'. And I found I can drive my 135i far more comfortably near the limit of traction when it's de-tuned to about 4psi than I can when it's pushing 19psi. But that's a restriction on my ability to fine-tune my input and feel the car and react _gently_ - not because the car has too much power.

I totally understand why it's not fun to drive a Porsche 911 on public roads - when the car is so tight in its handling that you can set cruise control to 55mph and just drive through the corners without changing speed - you need a faster track, tighter corners or a slower car.

But going for a 128i or a mx5 over a 135i - well, that's just choosing a more forgiving car.
Part of the problem is the sensitivity of these electric throttles. Have you tried a linear throttle map?

In stock form, the 135i is powerful, but it's still under 10hp per lb., which is a nice goldilocks range, IMO, and at stock power, it falls right in between the horsepower per lb of the 987 Cayman and 987 Cayman S, which is fast, but not exactly a 911 Turbo. Oddly enough, the old, desirable 930 Turbos were around that ratio, too.

Ultimately, I think it's all about the feel differences between an NA motor and the low end torque of a turbo. I like both for different reasons.

Having owned some Porsches, I hear what you're saying about the cars almost being too easy, although I've managed a spin in my Cayman with just a little rain on the road. The funny thing about the 135i is that, now that I've upgraded the tires and suspension with the usual forum recommendations, it's a much better car in the corners...but I'm not sure it's more fun. The unhinged quality of the completely stock 135i makes it a bit of a bucking bronco. In the quest to reproduce the locked down feeling of my Porsches, I may have made the 135i less fun on the street. I rarely get the traction alert coming on anymore. Maybe I should buy some crappier tires.

Last edited by duder13; 04-15-2019 at 05:50 PM.
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