Sat Oct 22 22:01:11 SAST 2016

a driver's dream car

By Bruce Fraser | Feb 24, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

I CAN vividly remember the launch of BMW's 1-series a year or so back.

I CAN vividly remember the launch of BMW's 1-series a year or so back.

With its futuristic lines and thumping 3.5-litre engine, it was just the tonic to get the heart beating faster, breaths shorter and a trickle of sweat running down the back of the neck out of sheer desire - it was definitely a car to remember.

Thankfully nothing has changed.

The 135i is still just as desirable as it was then. In fact, with so few on the road it is maybe more so due to itsexclusivity.

Ignite that beast of an engine, drop the soft-top and, in the blink of an eye, life never felt so good.

The 1-series comes in a variety of derivaties, from the 120i through to what we had on test, the top-of-the-range 135i.

A niche vehicle? A driver's dream? However you describe it, this low, squat vehicle with a long-sloping bonnet has winner written all over it.

The brochures will tell you it is a four-seater, and yes it is. But in reality this car is ideal for a couple as with the front seats pushed back the rear legroom is limited for anyone unfortunate enough to be riding in the back.

Then again, if you are looking for a family car, space is a priority and BMW is your brand then you will probably opt for something in the 3-series range anyway.

No, the 1-series is for those young executives out there, flush with a couple of bucks to spare and enjoy hanging out at Taboo in Sandton on a Saturday night.

A poserss vehicle? Unashamedly so, and I guess if you've got it, why not flaunt it. But the 135i is more than just about good looks.

The 6-cylinder engine is equipped with not one, but two turbo-chargers that will see you clocking 0-100 kmh in just over five seconds and being electronically controlled to a top speed of 250kmh ensures things remain relatively sane.

Gear changes in the 6-speed transmission are short and sharp and the torque and power on offer - 400Nm and 225kW - is sufficient to blow the majority of fellow motorists away.

The interior merges perfectly with the exterior and inside you will find all the bells-and-whistles you would expect from a vehicle of this status. The same when it comes to the safety front.

From crash sensors to an array of protection beams and airbags the 135i boasts an impressive array.

Run-flat tyres are also a standard feature, so even when the tyre is completely flat, you are able to drive a distance of up to 150km at 80kmh.

So, if you're looking for a stand-out vehicle in the half-a-million price range, the BMW 135i fits the bill perfectly.


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