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europrince
10-26-2007, 02:51 PM
http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/driving/story.html?id=a314a077-6aa8-4a36-beda-3c3a03c5c6b4

David Booth
National Post


Friday, October 26, 2007


GOTLAND, Sweden -The last time BMW tried this "baby Bimmer" thing, it was a massive cock-up. The 318ti hatchback, meant to be inexpensive, only succeeded in being cheap. Powered by a somnolent little four-cylinder engine and having a dated-even-for-the-time rear suspension, the ti was neither as quick or as sure-footed a sporty hatch as we expected from the mainstream company that literally defined handling. That BMW was able to retain its premium brand image in the face of such a glaring example of hubris is either testimony to the loyalty of its fans or the kind of amnesia Jaguar wishes would let people forget the X-Type.

The lesson was not lost on our Teutonic friends. For one thing, when the latest baby Bimmer -- the 1 Series -- comes to our shores, it won't be the perceived-as-cheaper hatchback version that's been available in Europe since 2004 but the newer, perceived-as-premium coupe variant. As well, though other, lesser engines are available, the Canadian 1 Series Coupe will be available only in 128i and 135i guises, although, ironically, the larger 3 Series upon which the 1 Series is based is available in a less powerful "23" format.

What this means is that, although it is smaller (228 millimetres overall and 100 mm shorter in wheelbase) and less expensive than the 3 Series, BMW Canada is being careful to position its new 1 as a premium compact and not all that eager to do battle with the likes of Volkswagen's Golf and Honda's Civic. In fact, what BMW is really hoping is that the new 135i makes you forget all about the 318ti, reminding you instead of the most iconic of BMWs, the 2002.

If the 135i's performance around Sweden's Gotland Ring race track is any indication, the new 1 is indeed more 2002 than 318 -- if the Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) is switched off, that is. BMW's traction nanny cuts in far earlier than the superb chassis needs, actually causing the 135i to flounder about a little like a Toyota Camry -- OK, not quite like a softly suspended Camry, but it definitely cuts in early enough to prevent any throttle steering and, if the front tires even threaten to scrub off any speed, the 135i's electronic minder goes into a full tizzy.

Turn it off, however, and all that legendary BMW handling prowess turns the 135i into a miniature road rocket. Even Gotland's manifold decreasing radii high-speed turns failed to disorient the 135i (though I admit that its driver may have once zigged when the apex cones called for a zag). The front end sticks like glue, you can hang the rear tires out a little to get the 135i to turn quicker and, even when they do start sliding, it's done in such an effortless, controlled manner that you'd swear you could do it all day and still not put a wheel wrong.

Of course, incredible handling is what we've come to expect from BMW. And the lucky few who have managed to snag a Bimmer powered by the new twin-turbocharged variant of its iconic 3.0-litre engine (335i Coupe and sedan as well as the new 535i) know that its claimed 300 horsepower massively underrates its performance. In the 135i, which weighs 60 kilograms less than the 335i, the twin turbos shine. BMW claims a 5.3-second, zero-to-100-kilometres-an-hour time, 0.3 seconds ahead of the 335i. For the record, that's also only 33 ponies and just a blink behind the last-generation M3.

And, as we've much lauded recently, BMW's first foray into turbocharging its six-cylinder engine is remarkably sophisticated. Uncommonly smooth and with a torque band only modestly less broad than the Grand Canyon, it dawdles through the city as well as it strafes race tracks.

If you've been reading through the lines, the undercurrent of all this is the 135i's remarkable resemblance to the 335i. A little lighter, a little quicker and most of the chassis, suspension and engine is identical to its larger sibling. This begs the question:What exactly is the difference between a 135i and a 335i Coupe? Well, for one thing, that 228-mm shorter length I mentioned translates into seriously compromised rear-seat accommodations. The 335i Coupe is hardly spacious back there, but, by comparison, it's a stretch limo. The luggage capacity, too, has been reduced, by some 2.1 cubic feet.

As well, the base 335i makes do with such compromises as cloth seating as well as door trim, whereas the 335i gets leather as standard equipment. Do not fret, however, that BMW has downgraded the interior. Leather seating is available and, though some of the interior dashboard pieces are new, the entire arrangement -- including the audio system, air conditioning controls and gauge set -- are unmistakably BMW.

What the 135i will also do is seriously undercut the 335i's $51,600 price. Though Canadian pricing won't be official until later this year, the 135i is almost 6,000 less expensive than the 335 back in the Fatherland. That would seem to indicate that the 135i will cost about $45,000. That may not be exactly inexpensive, but, then again, the 135i isn't cheap.

dbooth@nationalpost.com

National Post 2007

new_e46
10-26-2007, 03:24 PM
I can't wait to see this car on the road.

Tremonator
10-26-2007, 05:27 PM
I drive a ti and all I've got to say is.... ooooooouuuuuccchhh! that hurts
oh well, i like it, it's all that matters, isn't it? *sad*

M3ti Compact
10-26-2007, 05:44 PM
Car and Driver rated the 318ti the second best handling car under $30,000 (behind a Prelude SH) back in June 97. I really doubt that these (small time) editors have actually driven the car.

Change the body to a Z3 or the M coupe/roadster and see how magically their opinion changes, even when the basic suspension setup is the same.

vadim321go
10-26-2007, 10:00 PM
someone really loves canada.com eh ?

europrince
10-26-2007, 11:33 PM
^ bro, i subscribe to the post :)

Miguel
10-27-2007, 01:27 AM
who the hell would buy a 135i when a 335i is only EU 6K more?
They better be pricing this shoebox at $35,000-ish if they want to actually sell some.

EMPOWERD
10-27-2007, 07:05 AM
i'm with Miguel on this one... as quick as it might sound... can't justify saving *only* (est) $10k for a car with no rear seat room, cloth interior and a front end that looks like Office Space's "Milton" ugly mug when I can just buy an BMW-certified (used) 335i... add minimal mods for the same price. Let someone else take the initial new-car depreciation hit.

http://www.virtualstapler.com/office_space/images/milton_strokes.jpg =>>>> http://blog.vehiclevoice.com/bl_BMW_08_135i_14.jpg






_

BMW_7
10-28-2007, 12:55 AM
I disagree - I think this car will put put BMW back on the map and hopefully get me in one.. I love everything about it so far - I don't need much space and actually prefer smaller cars.

This is a quote from Laurence Yap's review (Prices in Canadian $)


http://www.1addicts.com/goodiesforyou/yap9.jpg



the 1-series, though small, is far from being a cheap car. Thanks to the high-end engine lineup (you can, remember, buy a 200-hp 323i), prices are likely to start at just below where the 3-series begins, say at around $32,000. The 135i, thanks to its much higher level of standard equipment - that M sport body kit, lowered sports suspension, high-end audio system and sport bucket seats, among other things - will likely start at over $40,000, about where a 328i starts.

Given its size, power output and, likely, price, the 1-series doesn't really have any direct competitors. The 128i may be shopped against expensive performance hatchbacks like the Volkswagen GTi, Mazdaspeed3 or even lower-end Audi A3s, but it's much less roomy, much less practical than either of those entries; conversely, none of them offer the level of interior quality or rear-wheel-driven driving pleasure that the 1-series offers. The 135i, on the other hand, will likely find itself cross-shopped with larger, more expensive coupes, like the Audi TT, Infiniti G and even BMW's own 3-series coupe. More fun than any of those cars as a pure driving experience, its smaller size also will come with a much smaller price tag - at least until you go hog-wild with the options list.

The 1-series goes on sale next spring. For drivers yearning for something premium, small and most importantly rear-drive, it's going to be a really long wait.

BMW_7
10-28-2007, 01:14 AM
I think the price is about right - $10,000 difference is about what it should be for the two cars. Remeber, with the 135 you're getting faster acceleration and a smaller more traditional BMW look. To some people who miss the e30 days it will be worth it.

Axxe
10-28-2007, 01:54 AM
Car and Driver rated the 318ti the second best handling car under $30,000 (behind a Prelude SH) back in June 97. I really doubt that these (small time) editors have actually driven the car.

Change the body to a Z3 or the M coupe/roadster and see how magically their opinion changes, even when the basic suspension setup is the same.

Yeah, it's hillarious!

Dumbass car newb : "E30's handled amazing, but Ti's were shit!"
Me : "How about the Z3"
Dumbass car newb : "Chick car, but amazing handling"
Me : "You're a dumbass. Slit your wrists. NOW"

bmwm5lover
10-28-2007, 01:21 PM
I rather like the 135 with the M package.

shimajer
10-30-2007, 08:18 PM
i saw this on the road today!!! lakeshore/ yonge .. it has a "BMW Group" license plate frame.. wow gorgeous. i will post some pics later, only got the arse and side.. big brakes with "bmw" engraved on the calipers. the rear looks like a mtech2 bumper.. and the trunk looks like a CSL style trunk..

ThatOneM42
10-30-2007, 09:29 PM
i saw a blue one today as well for like 2 seconds...looked pretty sick.

jameswbl
10-30-2007, 11:43 PM
the car is ugly...i rather have the hatch version with the same engine

should never have made the coupe version...the styling is totally off....

europrince
10-30-2007, 11:45 PM
I saw all kinds of the hatchback 1s in Europe last month. I loved them.

bmwm5lover
10-31-2007, 10:30 AM
The more I look at this car, especially in the red, the more I fall in love with it. All those performance oriented goodies ain;t bad either.

new_e46
10-31-2007, 11:21 AM
i saw this on the road today!!! lakeshore/ yonge .. it has a "BMW Group" license plate frame.. wow gorgeous. i will post some pics later, only got the arse and side.. big brakes with "bmw" engraved on the calipers. the rear looks like a mtech2 bumper.. and the trunk looks like a CSL style trunk..

Post the pics......

chromius
11-01-2007, 12:43 PM
How the heck can this thing be so damn heavy!

The article said it's 60kg less than the 335i, which would put it at just around the 3500LB mark! What the hell?

That's the same as an e39 528!:eek:

Anyone else see something wrong with that in such a small car!?:confused:

Bartacus
11-02-2007, 01:12 PM
^ I hear ya man! I keep hearing how "small" and "nimble" this car will be, yet its not much lighter than a regular 3 and not much smaller. And a whole lot uglier. :D I haven't seen one in person yet, but after seeing tons of pics, I sure don't like it. Not one bit. NOT worth the money, but then again BMWs ain't exactly "bang for the buck" cars.

Bart

europrince
11-02-2007, 01:24 PM
Its certainly controversial. Then again, I think most of BMW's designs have been. The problem is, with smaller cars, there is less sheetmetal to work with. You can't be as creative. Hence, the car does seem rather tall.

Meegis
11-06-2007, 09:31 AM
Its certainly controversial. Then again, I think most of BMW's designs have been. The problem is, with smaller cars, there is less sheetmetal to work with. You can't be as creative. Hence, the car does seem rather tall.

The 135i will be 55.4" to the top of the roof.