When 1 Becomes 2

Car India|May 2020

When 1 Becomes 2
The hot, all-wheel-drive 135i grows a tail — the mini M2 you want?
James Taylor

THE EXHAUSTS’ BLUFF BARK RICOCHETS OFF THE HILLSIDES and the direction of the M235i changes like a horizontal yoyo. We’re sidewinding along an undulating road in the forests north of Lisbon, unforgiving dropoffs either side. if this were a rally stage, there would be some definite “don’t cut!” pace notes. in fact, up here, this BMW feels like a leather-trimmed rally car: bluff three-box body, powerful turbocharged four-cylinder engine, effective all-wheel drive. the steering is so quick your fingertips never need to move from quarter-to-three for anything but a hairpin, while torque-vectoring inside-wheel braking helps the inside Pirellis bear-hug each apex and the tidy standard-fit mechanical limited-slip diff at the front increases accuracy without tugging away at the steering.

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May 2020