A thriller, not vanilla

Herald Sun - Motoring - - FIVE THINGS - Craig Duff

1The It’s a num­bers game

M140i was pre­vi­ously known as the M135i but the name has been changed to align it with the 240i and 440i mod­els in the BMW em­pire. The 3.0litre six-cylin­der turbo now pro­duces 250kW/500Nm (up 10kW/50Nm), giv­ing the same torque as BMW’s feisty M2 and re­in­forc­ing its im­age as a softer-sprung al­ter­na­tive to the M ma­chine. Per­for­mance is still blis­ter­ing with a 4.6-sec­ond run to 100km/h. Drive it less will­ingly and claimed fuel use is 7.1L/100km; real world re­sults are likely to be in the low teens.

2Pow­er­ful Han­dle with flair

en­gine plus light, rear-wheel drive chas­sis equals a no-brainer for driv­ing purists and it’s here the M140i ex­cels. There’s a di­rect­ness to driv­ing this car that re­wards be­yond the num­bers on the speedo. The steer­ing is weighted to per­fec­tion, the eight-speed auto (a six-speed man­ual is a no-cost op­tion) is happy to hang on to gears in sports set­ting and the chas­sis and sus­pen­sion are a well-sorted pack­age. It is an en­gag­ing car to the point where you’ll start mak­ing ex­cuses to get be­hind the wheel.

3Beyond Own­er­ship isn’t oner­ous

need­ing to find $64,900 to own the M140i, the ini­tial ser­vic­ing costs are more than rea­son­able at $1340 for the first five years/80,000km. The top-shelf 1 Se­ries is packed with the lat­est in­fo­tain­ment soft­ware, high-end sat­nav and au­dio but the likes of adap­tive cruise con­trol and au­ton­o­mous emer­gency brak­ing aren’t on the list. Metal­lic paint will add more than $1000. Drive it hard and tyres and brake pads will be reg­u­lar con­sum­ables.

4Those Dare to be dif­fer­ent

in­clined to see how hard the hot hatch goes should tick the $5390 me­chan­i­cal lim­ited-slip diff op­tion. The elec­tronic lock­ing diff linked to the sta­bil­ity con­trol is a long way re­moved from a proper set-up and the M140i has the power and poise to make use of a de­vice that will im­prove cor­ner­ing pace. The brakes are up­graded and it rides on adap­tive sus­pen­sion, so there should be lit­tle else to worry about for a track day drive.

5The It is fast, not fu­ri­ous

hatch stows 360L of lug­gage, mak­ing the M140i a less prac­ti­cal load-lug­ger than the M240i coupe at 390L. Carry peo­ple rather than ports and the hatch wins, with more front and rear legroom and far bet­ter rear head­room. Un­der­stated looks make it easy to go incog­nito — un­til it is driven in sports mode. The ex­haust bur­ble is the give-away: this isn’t your av­er­age vanilla Beemer.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.