I shed a tear for the demise of my favorite mid range hot hatch. The 1-series was the only rear-wheel-drive in its class and, though not entirely practical in size, it was a hoot to drive. It birthed the out-of-this-world-fantastic BMW 1M and paved the way for the BMW 2 Series, which i also adore. But alas, reality caught up to BMW and they simply had to move on with the times and convert to a front-wheel-drive layout. Don’t think for a second that they’ve thrown away their bag of tricks though. Have we forgotten who makes the modern era MINI’s? Anyone dare speak ill of the MINI’s handling? Thought so.
The top of the range 1er you see here is the M135i xDrive. It comes at a hefty price tag of RM356k, directly aimed at the new Mercedes Benz A35. For those familiar with the previous 1 series, stepping into the F40 will be a shocker. You have space! The car is wider and higher while actually having a shorter wheelbase but you will be hard pressed to find a more commodious and comfortable interior among its rivals. Family men and women will be happy to hear that the boot space is also way larger than before at 380Litres now thanks to space saving rear axle design.
Powering it is BMW’s most powerful 2.0L engine yet, a 306hp and 450Nm four banger that needs synthesized audio pumped through he cabin to hear properly…. My heartbreak is kinda showing isn’t it? Anywho, the engine is mated to a proven 8-speed transmission with the addition of a newly developed Torsen limited-slip differential. This gizmo helps the drivetrain put the power down in the sportiest way possible. It also doubles as a Launch Control mode, allowing all 450Nm of torque to hit the tarmac in first and second gear. If you have a clear stretch and 4.8 seconds, you will hit 100kmh from 0 without an issue.
Yet to be driven, the F40 M135i xDrive boasts something called ARB Technology. This system controls wheel slip and is claimed to improve traction way quicker than other systems. This one here gets the full M Sport brakes and suspension package. Comforting on your eyes and ears knowing that they are there doing their duties. I can’t tell you much else about the handling until it passes MY driving test can I?
Inside you get a similar interior to that in the new G20. I’ll save you the analitical details, you can check it out for yourselves from the pictures or your nearest showroom. BMW Personal CoPilot tech keeps you safe and alert while driving with all forms of assistants; Driving, Parking, Reserving, Lane Change, Crossing Traffic, Collision, and so on.