I had a chance to drive this little bugger yesterday at the IMPA (International Motor Press Association) test day up in Lake Harmony, PA, and quite honestly I loved it. Now I’m not going to go on about how it’s powered by a twin-turbo 300 hp inline-6 cylinder or how it feel so solid that it sounds like a you’re closing the door on a block of granite. That’s the type of stuff I’ll save for a later date. What I am going to do is simply tell you why I like driving it so much.
The 135i goes back to the roots of the iconic BMW 2002 by being small, quick and very responsive, it’s also an absolute hoot to drive fast. I’ve driven just about every BMW out there and even owned an E39 M5 at one point and while I think they’re great cars, over the last 5 years or so they’ve simply lost a lot of their luster in my eyes. The 135i however, was a bright spot for me in an otherwise dark BMW world. First the acceleration is fantastic, in fact my ass-dyno clocked in a 0-60 run of about 5 seconds. The transmission shifts fast and smooth and if you utilize the paddles you’re rewarded with some very flickable fun.
In the corners the short wheelbase, rear wheel drive combo works out to be simply sublime and if you’ve got the stones for it you’ll be able to hang the ass of the little 1-series out with ease. The real joy in this car was that it makes you want to go out, find your favorite twisty road and drive it over and over again, and that ladies and gentlemen is exactly what a sports car is meant to do. If there is one downside to the 135i it would have to be the almost $40,000 price tag which is a lot of scratch for something so small. But, if you have the means and are looking for tiny fast fun, then the BMW 135i will definitely help you fill your need for speed.