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

evo is 21 and to celebrate, we're returning to 1998 prices! Subscribe now to SAVE 39% on the shop price and get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £25!

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

2019 BMW M135i review

16 Jul 2019
Visit/bmw/1-series/22694/new-2019-bmw-1-series-unveiled-including-a-hot-golf-r-rivalling-m135i
BMW 1 Series hatchback

New 2019 BMW 1-series unveiled, including a hot Golf R-rival

28 May 2019
Visit/bmw/1-series/22095/2019-bmw-1-series-teased-on-twitter-ahead-of-reveal
BMW 1 Series hatchback

2019 BMW 1-series spied

17 May 2019
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/seat/leon-cupra/202143/seat-leon-cupra-r-st-abt-review-spicy-spanish-dish-gets-even-more-sizzle
SEAT Leon Cupra

SEAT Leon Cupra R ST Abt review

50 horsepower boost puts extra pep in the Leon Cupra’s already athletic step
23 Jan 2020
Visit/dodge/202135/police-spec-dodge-charger-given-1500bhp-widebody-kit-and-awd
Dodge

Dodge Charger given 1500bhp, widebody kit and AWD 

US-based Speedkore Performance works its magic for one-off creation
22 Jan 2020
Visit/volkswagen/golf-gti/22866/new-volkswagen-golf-gti-to-be-revealed-at-geneva-motor-show-plus-new
Volkswagen Golf GTI hatchback

New Volkswagen Golf GTI to be revealed at Geneva motor show – plus new insight on the next Golf R

2020 VW Golf GTI returns in eighth-generation form at this year’s Geneva motor show
20 Jan 2020
Visit/hyundai/i30-n-hatchback/201775/hyundai-i30-n-versus-hyundai-i30-tcr
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 N versus Hyundai i30 TCR

Can Dickie Meaden beat Steve Sutcliffe in a straight(ish) race? We sent them to the Circuit Nuvolari with a pair of Hyundai i30 Ns to find out.
20 Sep 2019