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Munich’s Golf R fighter: BMW M135i xDrive sharpened up for 2022

Published Oct 20, 2021


Johannesburg - The BMW M135i xDrive has been treated to a number of technical enhancements, which are said to “noticeably” improve the driving experience of Munich’s rival to the Volkswagen Golf R and Mercedes-AMG A35.

BMW says it has made improvements to both the engine soundtrack and suspension of the all-wheel drive performance hatchback.

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The company claims to have dramatically enhanced the acoustic experience in the cabin. According to BMW, revised soundtrack conveys the signature four-cylinder engine note of a BMW M model to those on board more authentically than ever, although it’s not completely authentic as the sound is carefully amplified through the vehicle’s speakers. BMW says the instant response to every movement of the accelerator is translated into corresponding acoustic signals.

The outputs of BMW’s 2-litre turbopetrol engine remain unchanged, at 225kW and 450Nm, as does the claimed 0-100km/h sprint time of 4.8 seconds. As before, power goes to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission.

As mentioned, the BMW M135i xDrive has also received a number of chassis tweaks. For starters, the camber values for the front wheels have been increased to optimise absorption of lateral forces when accelerating through twisty sections. Furthermore, the spring and damping systems have been recalibrated and a new hydromount has been used to attach the front suspension wishbones. The mounts for the trailing and control arms at the rear axle have also been redesigned.

“The result is a significant improvement in roll behaviour in corners, which has a further beneficial effect on steering feel when the car’s sporting abilities are put to the test,” BMW says.

As before, the BMW M135i xDrive is fitted with a mechanical limited-slip differential on the front axle and the model also comes standard with near-actuator wheel slip limitation integrated into the engine control unit, which allows traction to be controlled up to ten times faster than with conventional systems.

Most of the exterior design work remains unchanged, and buyers can opt for the familiar 18” or 19” wheel options, but BMW is offering a new selection of “striking” paint finishes. The company says it can now also cater for BMW Individual paint finishes on this model as well as special customer requests.

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South African pricing for the new BMW M135i xDrive will be released closer to launch.

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