BMW 130i : POWER WITHOUT CORRUPTION – Yahoo Cars

29 Jul 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on BMW 130i : POWER WITHOUT CORRUPTION – Yahoo Cars
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BMW 130i. POWER WITHOUT CORRUPTION

BMW#39;s 130i Could Well Be The Model To Sway Those As Yet Undecided By The 1 Series. By Andy Enright.

BMW happen to be very good at this sort of thing. They have a recent record of introducing cars that don#39;t at first sit easily on the eye, but the subsequent unveiling of ever more powerful and desirable versions breaks down that initial resistance. It happened with the M5 and the M6 and history repeats itself with the brawniest addition to the 1 Series line up, the 130i.

There will still be many who remain deterred by the unorthodox lines of the 1 Series but quite how many can harbour any lingering antipathy towards the car after a drive is a very different question. We#39;ve run a number of 1 Series models in this office and even the most ardent naysayer has been won round by the car#39;s beautiful steering, unimpeachable ride and handling and brilliant range of engines.

Until now, however, the quickest 1 Series was the 120d, a fine car, but not the sporting flagship many had hoped for. The 130i changes all that. With the same 3.0-litre Valvetronic engine found in the 630i, the 130i doesn#39;t want for power.

The lightest powerplant of its type in the world, this engine does away with conventional throttle butterflies in favour of a complex electrically powered valve lifting system. Constructed from an aluminium and magnesium composite, light weight equates to better performance, more agile handling and lower fuel consumption and emissions. The 3.0-litre unit punches well above its weight, knocking out 258bhp at 6,600rpm. On the road, this translates into a surprising amount of heft.

The sprint to 60mph from rest will disappear in just 6 seconds. An electronically limited top speed of 155mph will be adequate for most needs, and the combined fuel economy figure of 31.4mpg is a genuine standout.

As a statement of intent, the 130i is clear and unambiguous. No other manufacturer produces a small car quite like it.

The Valvetronic engine complies with the latest Euro IV emissions regulations and features the world#39;s first electric water pump to cool the engine block for increased efficiency. Six-speed manual gearboxes are fitted as standard. BMW claim that a 130i will lap the Northern Loop of the Nurburgring – the performance benchmark against which all serious sports cars are judged – in 8minutes and 35 seconds.

That is quite some pace. The best thing about the 130i is that all that power makes it a more enjoyable car. Unlike most hot hatch rivals, drive is directed to the back wheels instead of the front pair.

This leaves the front wheels to concentrate on the job of steering rather than trying to steer and deploy power. Over 200bhp in many front wheel drive cars can be a rather miserable experience, as the traction control systems fight frantically to keep things in check. There#39;s no such unsightly scrabble from a 1 Series and the 130i should prove no different. Several key styling features identify the flagship 130i variant.

As well as chromed kidney grille slats, there are chunky 17-inch alloy wheels shod with low profile tyres and twin chromed exhausts at the rear. The 130i#39;s stance seems a degree or so more pugnacious than any other 1 Series in the line up and the interior is better appointed. Sports seats, a leather steering wheel, BMW Business CD stereo and six airbags are fitted as standard. Should customers wish, they can even specify BMW#39;s innovative Active Steering system.

Buyers wanting something more eye-catching can acquire the M Sport model with its lower front spoiler, side sills, special wheels and sports suspension. To herald the introduction of the latest generation of engines, BMW#39;s designers have refreshed the interior and exterior styling. The 1 Series now features a larger kidney grille for improved airflow to the engine.

The lower front spoiler has also been reprofiled to create a larger air intake, while the spoiler protrudes further for a more pronounced, sporting look. The headlamp cluster remains the same size but a darker cover gives a subtle, more distinguished front end. At the rear a restyled bumper gives the impression of a wider, lower car. The rear lamp cluster now features a new arrangement of lights, but retains its original shape.

The three-door 1 Series features the same styling cues but its side view is naturally different. The passenger doors are longer than those on the five-door model and are also frameless in the style of a coupé. Inside, customers can choose between either a four-seat or a five-seat configuration.

In the four-seat arrangement rear passengers are separated by a central storage compartment and sit in more sculptured seats. As a no-cost option the five-seat layout offers the traditional bench seat standard on the five-door 1 Series. The introduction of higher quality materials and minor changes to the layout of the interior aim to enhance customer comfort and practicality.

The BMW 130i is the car that truly puts the 1 Series range squarely in the crosshairs of performance car lovers. It#39;s fast, economical and well sorted. Although it#39;s not cheap, many will view the premium as a worthwhile investment in a thoroughly developed product that accepts very few compromises.

Resistance is futile.

Facts At A Glance

CAR: BMW 130i range

PRICE: £26,930-£27,465- on the road

INSURANCE GROUP: 17

CO2 EMISSIONS: 221g/km

PERFORMANCE: 0-60mph 6s / Max speed 155mph

FUEL CONSUMPTION: (combined) 31.4mpg

STANDARD SAFETY FEATURES: Twin front, side and head airbags / ABS

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