BMW M135i xDrive in the test: is the sharpened chassis convincing?

Sporty, but not too great – practical, but fascinating. BMW’s “half” M models walk a little between the worlds. Similar to the S models at Audi or the 35/43 series at Mercedes-AMG. The Munich-based company has now revised the smallest representative M135i at a prominent point: the chassis.

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The performance data of the top 1 model remain the same: 306 PS from a two-liter four-cylinder with single turbo, 450 Newton meters, it takes 4.8 seconds to speed on country roads, and at 250 km/h the electronics put a stop to it. Driving should now be noticeably more binding. BMW has given us two configurations: sports suspension with 19-inch tires and adaptive suspension with 18-inch wheels.
Humorless: Potholes and transverse joints stomp the sports suspension in the cross – the adaptive variant is gentler.

The tuning is crisp-hard

We’ll start with variant 1: the M135i stomps on us already on the first transverse joints potholes into the cross. But that’s what we expected. What’s new is that he bounces humorlessly, but dampens the whole thing cleanly. In Sport mode, the throttle response is nice and sharp, but the steering is still too numb. That’s what the translation is for. On a deserted serpentine road in the southern Harz we try to drive him into understeer. No chance under the StVO – the front axle holds.
The variant with adaptive suspension (only 150 euros surcharge), on the other hand, spreads noticeably between residual comfort and sporty hardness. The sport setting seems a bit more synthetic to us than the real sport suspension. By the way: the sound – muffled grumbling and cheeky spluttering. Only the price remains: the M135i costs at least 53,650 euros. An M240i with 374 PS, six-cylinder and rear-heavy four-wheel drive is only 3650 euros more.

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