Wednesday, June 26, 2013

One of the greats: The BMW M135i

 photo DSC06259.jpg I once read an automotive book many many years ago, in it was this quote, "A good car is like an extension of your body." These words struck a chord with me and embedded themselves into my brain as i grew up. It sounds all rather Cliché now, but when you think about it, there is quite alot of truths in those words.  photo DSC06148.jpg Fast forward a number of years later, i find myself standing next to the door of the M135i. I know there are alot of naysayers (myself included), about the naming convention of this car, specifically to do with that letter "M" next to the numbers. I won't go into too much detail but, yes, it deserves to be there. Some might want to compare it with the 1M, but that's not being fair to the M135i, for a proper fight, let's wait for the 2M (or M2) to arrive before we bring up the baby M.  photo P1160552.jpg  photo P1160526.jpg  photo P1160538.jpg  photo DSC06242.jpg Visually, the 3 door's have always been the better looking of most hatchbacks and this 1 is no different. The elongated windows, the longer doors and those frameless windows all help to raise the appeal of the 1 Series. The 4 door might have an edge on practicality, but this just looks much better. The awkward "Angry Bird" headlights remain, but when fitted with the more menacing M-Sport front bumper, look much better. Specially designed lightweight 19" shoes barely hide the 4 and 2 pot brakes and give the M135i a squat and purposeful stance.  photo DSC06293.jpg To understand this car though, you need to open the door, get in, thumb the starter button and awaken the 320 horses sitting up front. The car barks into lift and settles into a low burble. It sounds... good...  photo DSC06305.jpg  photo DSC06302.jpg It feels good inside too, the seats are nicely supportive although it would have been nice to have it partly covered with some Alcantara. All the controls fall into place easily, and thumbing through the iDrive brings up a pair of gauges for more flair.  photo DSC06259.jpg  photo DSC06089.jpg The first thing that you notice when you start to move off is just how quick the steering is, equipped with BMW’s variable-ratio geometry as standard, you'd think, maybe perhaps it would loosen up once you get on the road, but no, the steering remains just as quick. It is the fastest steering rack i have even experienced on a road car and gives the M135i a very dart-like character.  photo DSC06135.jpg The steering feel though requires a bit of pondering, it is both sharp and slightly dull at the same time. The sharpness comes from the very low ratio steering rack, the car reacts almost instantly to all your inputs and corrections. The slight dullness, is how much output the steering gives to the driver. It has a good amount of weight to it but might lack that extra bit of road feel. You still know what's going on under the wheels, but a bit more feedback would have helped. That said, as a driver's car, i really cannot fault the M135i in any other way. It is such a joy to bring it out and just blast around anywhere and everywhere. It really is a small compact weapon, a small compact weapon with 450Nm's of torque at your disposal and decent mileage to boot. It really is a blast.  photo DSC06271.jpg You see some gaps in traffic, carve out an imaginary line in your head, squeeze the throttle, and BOOM, the little car just traces out that line with such tenacity and with a lovely soundtrack to match. Lift off the throttle and the exhaust emits little explosions on the overrun. Some road users might now be giving you strange looks as you fly by them in the smallest sized BMW currently on sale, while those in the know keep their distance. The grip is fantastic, the balance is spot on, and the way the car leans into each corner feels just right. Turn into a corner, and as the front end digs in, and as you straighten out, squeeze the throttle and move on to carve the next corner. With just 4.9 seconds needed to hit 100km/h from standstill, get ready to say goodbye to your license if you drive "enthusiastically" too often. The brakes also do a pretty good job of hauling the car down from speed and unless you are on a track, probably won't be using them to their fullest potential. Naysayers, just go take a test drive. You'd find the character of this car just oozes out M-Division magic for this car to deserve the "M" badge.  photo DSC06237.jpg Overall conclusion? Definitely one of BMW's best. The last time i had so much fun in a car, it was the Z4M Roadster and this little hatch slots right behind that German hot rod. The more you drive this car, the more it just wants to wrap around you, almost like an extension of your body.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

How she sits now

 photo 1026133_10151412931627101_1470412166_o.jpg Been a while since i last took a picture of the ol '36. But this is how she currently sits. Not slammed but purposefully and decently lowered.

Random Shot: Fit '4 Tweaking

 photo F32_500.jpg Did some work on the new 4 in Photoshop. You dig?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

911 plays the right notes

Music's not needed when the engine plays notes like this.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Want one badly...

Can't afford it... :(

Monday, June 10, 2013

Gran Turismoism


Update Palooza

First off, apologies for the lack on updates on the blog, as this is really just a "on the side" hobby of mine, when work and offline activities pile up, it only means my time spent updating this blog will be reduced. So what has happened in the past month on the automotive side of things? Well, first off, the cool peeps at AFTMKT magazine got wind that the Mightly Car Mods youtube duo were headed to Singapore and they put together a pretty cool meet to welcome them to Singapore. Check out the video below: Long overdue, my final posts on the local edition of the Tokyo Auto Salon soon to come.  photo DSC05218.jpg And to round things off, i found myself behind the wheel of a truely delightful machine a couple of weeks back. The BMW ///M135i. More of that coming up.  photo DSC06237.jpg I don't know who you are but if you're reading this, a huge huge thanks for spending your time here as well as for all the "Likes" i've been getting on Facebook. I promise to get my ass off and start churning out more posts asap! On the E36 side of things, well it hasn't been great. Car is now back in the workshop once again for God know what is wrong. Sigh...

Random Shots: Dipped

Managed to get hold of a can of Plasti-dipped and went straight to work on the 1er's icky chrome grills.

After: Not bad for an hours(ish) worth of work in the carpark eh?