BMW 135i

We've improved the feel of the car on road and track but not the lap time

It was a week or two after the BMW Performance suspension kit was fitted that we found time to get over to the Bedford Autodrome and put in a lap or three on the West Circuit. Marriage and Catchpole had had the car for most of that time and both had enjoyed it. ‘Feels really good now, doesn’t it?’ said Catchpole. Indeed it does; less fuzzy, more poised. Looks good, too, with the slight ride-height drop. And so it should for an all-in, dealer-fitted cost of £2500.

It was a similar day to when we ran the standard car around – warm and dry – and it felt better, more stable, more decisive, more biddable, mostly through there being noticeably less roll. However, when the VBOX flashed up the time for the second flying lap, it was clear we were going to struggle to go faster than the stock car. The third and best lap was a 1.29.4 – some way off the benchmark 1.28.7.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

There’s no stand-out area where the lap speed has changed, it’s just a fraction here and there. It could be that the run-flat Dunlop SP Sport 01s are a fraction less good around the track than the original run-flat Bridgestone RE050As, perhaps because being newer their tread depth is deeper. Whatever, there are two certainties. The first is that after spending £5000 upgrading the wheels and the suspension, we have not improved the 135i’s lap time. The second is that we have improved the feel of the car, on road and track; wheel control is better and the car drives more positively.

Stage three is the engine upgrade, which should improve throttle response, mid-range punch and add a little to the top end. After that, we plan to replace the run-flats with trackday tyres. The target is still the M3’s 1.25.9. Stay tuned.

Running Costs

Date acquiredMay 2009
Total mileage12,471
Costs this month£0
Mileage this month1813
MPG this month27.8
Advertisement
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/bmw/1-series
BMW 1 Series hatchback

BMW M135i 2020 review - BMW goes mainstream with its new Golf R rival

27 Jan 2020
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/bmw/m4/22869/new-2020-bmw-m4-spied-testing-ahead-of-launch
BMW M4

New 2020 BMW M4 spied testing ahead of launch

BMW’s next M4 promises much, but will it deliver? Here’s everything we know so far
7 Jul 2020
Visit/mercedes/s-class/22543/new-2020-mercedes-s-class-interior-tech-detailed
Mercedes S-Class

New ​2020 Mercedes S-class interior tech detailed 

Mercedes-Benz reveals tech offerings of the next S-class, ahead of its launch later this year
9 Jul 2020
Visit/lamborghini/202866/lamborghini-sian-roadster-revealed-with-808bhp-electrified-v12
Lamborghini

Lamborghini Sián Roadster revealed with 808bhp electrified V12

The supercapacitor-equipped Lamborghini Sián has ditched its roof with a new roadster variant
8 Jul 2020
Visit/lamborghini/202829/tecnomar-launches-4000hp-v12-lamborghini-yacht
Lamborghini

Tecnomar launches 4000hp V12 Lamborghini yacht

The V12-powered yacht is Tecnomar’s most capable offering yet, and takes inspiration from Lamborghini’s most recent models
30 Jun 2020