BMW 130i M Sport

It's not every day you get an empty track to play with, so when the boys at the Bedford Autodrome waved me out onto the circuit, I was determined to make the most of it

The sight of all that lush green run-off to fall into should I get it wrong meant that I could finally try the 130 without any electronic nannying. The multi-level traction control is ideal for the road - one press of the DTC button loosens the brain's grip enough to allow a little fun - but hold that same button for a few seconds and you're on your own, the big warning light between the rev counter and speedo reminding you to keep on your toes. Once up and running, the 130 showed great balance in the faster turns, allowing me to tip the car in with lift-off oversteer and then hold that angle right through the corner, the responsive, rev-hungry straight-six helping all the way. The baby Bimmer's overly stiff set-up can irritate on the road, but it suited Bedford's silky-smooth tarmac perfectly. In fact, the 130 entertained on the track much more than I'd expected. Good balance, strong brakes and a great engine all added up to a willing track toy. Only the lack of a slippy diff gave cause for disappointment, a heavy right foot often being punished with a spinning inside-rear wheel. It's not a problem when you can set the car up with speed, but in slower corners it can feel like you're seriously abusing the poor thing. Yet despite being pushed to the limit for lap after lap, the 130 didn't miss a beat or buckle under the pressure - and the drive home was as refined as you could possibly wish for. All very impressive.

Running Costs

Date acquiredNovember 2005
Total mileage5,687
Costs this month£0
Mileage this month733
MPG this month27.9mpg
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
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/nissan/202389/this-nissan-juke-r-can-be-yours-for-719579
Nissan Juke R

This Nissan Juke-R can be yours for $719,579

Near-700bhp Nissan special project Juke-R goes up for sale in Germany 
30 Mar 2020
Visit/mercedes-cla45-amg-hatchback/22953/mercedes-amg-cla-45-s-coupe-uk-review
Mercedes CLA45 AMG hatchback

Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 S coupe UK review

The more stylish version of eCoty 2019’s bronze medallist is as impressive on UK roads as it was overseas
28 Mar 2020
Visit/bugatti/202400/bugatti-chiron-veyron-and-eb110-gather-for-a-photoshoot-of-dreams
Bugatti

Bugatti Chiron, Veyron and EB110 gather for a photoshoot of dreams

Celebrating the last three decades of operations, Bugatti gathered all three of its flagship hypercars in Dubai
31 Mar 2020
Visit/hyundai/201819/hyundai-i30-fastback-n-versus-the-nurburgring
Hyundai i30 N

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Nurburgring

We brought the Hyundai i30 Fastback back to its spiritual home in Germany's Eifel mountains, where there is a racing track you might well have heard o…
7 Oct 2019