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BMW M140i at Australia’s Best Driver’s Car | 4th Place |

BMW M140i at Australia’s Best Driver’s Car | 4th Place |

It may be the smallest M car in the BMW lineup
but the ‘M’ badge must be earned and the M140i is more than worthy of its legendary
name and thus an appropriate inclusion the ABDC field. The M140i has taken a few of the judges at
Australia’s Best Driver’s Car by surprise this year, but if you think about it, it shouldn’t
have… after all the BMW M2 was the winner last year
However this is no ordinary BMW M140i. This is one of 60 made-for Australia Performance
Edition models which score a host of upgrades over the standard car. The rear-drive hot hatch already sizzles with
a wonderfully torquey 3.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine, but the Performance Edition
adds even more spark thanks to a mechanical limited slip differential on manual models,
a cracking M Performance exhaust system, 19-inch alloy wheels and styling enhancements. There’s no doubting the engine performance
of the M140i is impressive – and the turbocharged six-cylinder is perfectly matched with the
six-speed manual transmission – but don’t forget the audio track from the M Performance
exhaust system.. ABDC judges loved the predictable nature of
the little BMW. It provided great feedback through the wheels
and was easy to place on the road. The taut chassis highlighted excellent balance
front to rear and the adaptive M suspension sharpened things up, especially at high speeds. Clearly the limited slip differential included
in the Performance Edition model allowed the M140i to shine. Add the punchy six-cylinder engine and minimal
interference from electronic stability control and this car was an absolute blast. If you only drove the BMW M140i on the open
road, you’d be pretty smug as it is close to a perfect package. But, as we discovered when lapping Baskerville
Raceway, the 19-inch wheels and tyres actually hampered lap times. Owners keen on track days have an easy remedy
in the form of a spare set of 18-inch wheels shod with grippy Michelin Super Spot tyres
which come standard. Just bolt-on those wheels and watch your lap
times improve. All in all, the BMW M140i is a small rear
drive marvel. There’s sufficient confidence-inspiring
driver assistance and electronic technology to stay out of trouble, but it’s not overly
assisted so you can still have plenty of fun.

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10 thoughts on “BMW M140i at Australia’s Best Driver’s Car | 4th Place |

  1. I'm jealous. For my M140i the M Performance Diff was not available as a factory option or edition 🙁 Why did they not offer this for Germany? Their sales are obviously too good here.

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