BMW M135i xDrive
The BMW M135i X Drive is the newly introduced 4WD derivative of BMW’s every day hatchback. It also stands out with its performance figures, with a 0 – 62mph time of just 4.7 seconds and a limited top speed of 155mph. The engine in this model is 2,979cc petrol turbo charged 6 cylinder power plant which produces a CO2 emission figure of 182g/km whilst producing 315bhp. This is all coupled together with an excellent 8 speed automatic gearbox (there is also a 6 speed manual available). It has mainly been developed for mainland Europe where the level of snowfall necessitates a 4WD system as more of a requirement rather than an extravagance.
Unfortunately, it is very unlikely that this model will ever appear in the UK BMW showrooms as the initial plans are that it will not be destined for the UK. Their concerns would be that this would be just another niche car occupying a very competitive market place. Would the addition of a powerful 4WD hatchback add to, or detract from their current line-up?
Inside and out, it looks very similar to the standard 2WD offering. However, it has a very clever clutch mechanism to distribute the power between the front and rear axles. Ordinarily, 60% of the power is sent backwards which maintains the traditional RWD feel of a BMW. If the vehicle is put into an over steer or under steer situation then it can quickly redistribute the power to resolve the problem. The additional traction also improves the 0 – 62mph dash by 0.2 secs.
The vehicle we tested performed admirably in the snowy conditions of our test and proved to be a very capable all rounder (although the winter tyres clearly assisted in this cause). The addition of the 4WD xDrive system seems to have taken nothing away from the already great 2WD car. The steering is great and the all round driving experience lives up to what you would expect from a £35,550 vehicle. All we need to do is keep our fingers crossed it makes it across the water.
The comments above do not necessarily reflect Rivervale's views unless clearly stated.
27 June 2013
Written by Simon