BMW PUMPS UP THE POWER
MAJOR engine enhancements to BMW’s entry-level M Performance models will arrive before the end of the year.
The Bavarian brand says it will “pass baton” from existing turbocharged six-cylinder engines powering M135i and M235i models to the typically more powerful less thirsty new engine that launch in models dubbed M140i M240i.
The upgrade affects three in Australia: five-door hatch, M235i coupe and M235i convertible.
power boost is backed by a 7 per cent drop in fuel use, with the claimed official consumption now down to 7.9 litres/100km, emitting just 179g/km of carbon dioxide.
As is becoming norm most makers, performance increases despite the engines being less thirsty. In this case 0-100km/h sprint times are down to 4.6 seconds using the eight-speed auto that is already standard on local M Performance models. The convertible’s added mass adds 0.1 second.
Power increases from current 240kW/450Nm to 250kW/500Nm — incredibly, that matches the figures of the bahn-storming 1 Series M coupe cult car built in 2011-12.
That has only now been superseded by M2 coupe, which can run to 100km/h in just 4.3 seconds, thanks outputs of 262kW/465Nm, trick componentry and weight-saving measures.
Prices for the existing M Performance models start at $62,900 M135i top out $86,500 M235i convertible. BMW Australia spokeswoman Lenore Fletcher says new powertrain should fuel already strong local demand for the company’s performance variants.
“We don’t have any specifics other than release at this point, but we do know Australians will welcome the added performance,” she says.
“Until the arrival of M2 M135i and M235i models were our goto hot hatch fast coupe respectively there is still a big market that appreciates good engine without wanting to engage every day with full-on M model.”
The gear ratios in the eight-speed auto have been stretched match extra power and drivers can choose perform multiple downshifts on paddle-shifters when entering a corner, with car then matching ratios to revs as they drop.
Left in auto mode, the transmission can employ predictive shifting — by checking with satnav match ratios contours.