Here we have a very fine example of a car I still think falls into the drastically underrated category despite its reputation amongst those in the know. The 1 Series is viewed by most as a Bangle era failure to modernize the formula that made BMW famous, a tightly packaged two door with a solid powerplant under the hood. While the 128i is no slouch, the 135i with its 300 hp twin-turbo inline-6 is the only spec I’d consider. Add in the M Sport package which gives the car six piston calipers up front, two piston calipers in the rear, a very nice perforated steering wheel/shift knob and super comfortable sport seats. I’ve sat in one of these cars with and without the M-Sport package and in opinion, the M Sport package is a must. Without it the 1 Series appears rather basic, especially the 2008 to 2010 pre-facelift models. Aside from visual tweaks that really tightened up the overall look of the car, from 2011-on the 135i got the N55 inline-6 which used a single twin-scroll turbocharger to make the same power as the N54 and its two turbochargers. While having a twin-turbo motor sounds cool, it’s really just one extra part to worry about. The N55 has less turbo lag, better low rev torque, lower emissions and is more fuel efficient than its predecessor. I’d call that a no contest victory.
Like many BMW fans, I was hotly anticipating the release of the 1-series stateside a few years back. It was a return to BMW’s roots of making a two door sport coupe in the vein of the 2002, E21 and E30 or at least so we thought. As it turned out the 1-series wasn’t as big of a hit with enthusiasts, so much as it was with folks looking for the cheapest way to get into a car bearing the blue and white roundel. That being said I do have a soft sport for the car, even with its big funky headlights and not so attractive posterior, I think there are enough redeeming qualities to make it worth considering as a daily driver.
A six speed manual coupled with BMW’s N54 inline-6 is one of the best setups a driver can ask for. With the help of twin turbochargers, the motor delivers 300hp to the rear wheels of a 3,420lb car, which is a recipe for fun. The seller of this particular car claims 380hp to the wheels but makes no mention of what gets it there other than an Dinan exhaust. I’m curious as to what other goodies are under the hood or what lines of code have been changed in order to make those numbers. Certainly would have to do the homework on where these parts were installed and of what quality they are, but 380hp in this vehicle sounds delightful. The vehicle has also been dropped an inch though no specific mention of what brand of suspension has been installed and there are the black wheels which I would be quick to get rid of. I’ve seen a 1-series rolling on 17″ wheels with nice meaty tires and let me tell ya, that is a very good loo for this car.
Click for details: 2008 BMW 135i on Cars.com
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