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

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

Most Popular

Visit/bmw/1-series/203095/bmw-128ti-revealed-as-direct-hot-hatch-rival-to-vw-golf-gti
BMW 1 Series

BMW 128ti revealed as direct hot hatch rival to VW Golf GTI

BMW has revealed a simplified front-wheel drive hot 1-series called 128ti that will sit below the M135i performance flagship
16 Sep 2020
Visit/nissan/370z/201879/nissan-z-proto-revealed-v6-twin-turbo-six-speed-manual-and-a-catch
Nissan 370Z

Nissan Z Proto revealed – V6 twin-turbo, six-speed manual, and a catch

It’s the Nissan sports car we’ve been waiting 11 years for, but don’t hold your breath for it in the UK
16 Sep 2020
Visit/advice/19675/used-car-deals-of-the-week
Features

Used car deals of the week

We’ve perused the used car pages so you don’t have to. Here’s what caught evo’s fancy this week
16 Sep 2020
Visit/audi/s3/203084/audi-s3-2020-review-the-original-posh-hot-hatch-reformed
Audi S3

Audi S3 2020 review – the original posh hot hatch reformed

Probably the best S3 yet, but still not a class-leading entertainer
15 Sep 2020