Skip advert
Advertisement

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
Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement

Most Popular

BMW M340i xDrive Touring Fast Fleet test – 6000 miles in the six-cylinder estate
evo Fast Fleet BMW M340i xDrive Touring
Long term tests

BMW M340i xDrive Touring Fast Fleet test – 6000 miles in the six-cylinder estate

The six-cylinder M Performance estate departs the evo Fast Fleet, confirming a renaissance for the everyday BMW
20 May 2024
The Lamborghini Huracán replacement will get a 10,000rpm flat-plane crank V8 
Lamborghini V8 to replace V10
News

The Lamborghini Huracán replacement will get a 10,000rpm flat-plane crank V8 

The iconic Lamborghini V10 is no more, but its upcoming eight-cylinder successor will pack hybrid drive and a 10,000rpm redline
20 May 2024
Toyota GR Supra Fast Fleet test – 11 months in Japan's Porsche Cayman
evo Fast Fleet Toyota Supra
Long term tests

Toyota GR Supra Fast Fleet test – 11 months in Japan's Porsche Cayman

With a 335bhp straight-six and rear-wheel drive, the Supra should be very much our sort of car. But after nearly a year on our fleet, did this prove t…
17 May 2024