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Sorted a test drive for the new M135 in about 3 weeks time, on paper (various press test drives) it really seems a cracker of a car and the general concensous of opinion is that it is 'better' than the current 135i, but the looks take some getting over.

Having configured one on the BMW website it is certainly getting me interested, this comes after test driving the new Boxster (not an S) and that being resonably spec'ed comes out at a whopping £47k, my resasonably spec'ed M135i peaked at £32k.

Also test drove the new Toyota GT86, but best leave that unsaid.

Mind you, there was the speed yellow Carrerra S I just missed out on at Colchester Porsche........ but thats another story.

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I know what you mean, but by the time I decide to chop my car in the 1M would be about the same price as a M135i which hopefully will have much better technology and road holding characteristics (I hope).

Also as our boat has become an integral part of weekend living it has to double up as a load carrier, something the 1M just does not do.

Mind you, if the 'right' speed yellow Carrerra S comes along again, god knows what I will do !

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I know you said it's best left unsaid, but I'd be interested in what you thought of the GT86.

It's clearly not got the grunt of the 135i (or even the Boxster I guess), but wondered what you thought of the rest of the package.

It's a good price compared to almost everything but the M135i!

At first it seemed a cracker of a car......

The build quality and layout is 'exactly' the same as what you would expect from an 70/80's revived car, for gods sake it still has the 'h' & 'm' on the LED adjustable clock (with high gloss surround).

Lacked low down torque, really only got going somewhere around the 5000rpm mark, the boxer enginer sounded great, the torque in 4th/5th/6th almost matched my smoke chucker.

On the track (which is where Toyota say it will end up) it really seems a good tool however day to day driving is quite vague, the steering really took some getting used to, such a long wheelbase.

Out of the box the price seemed ok around £25k, very few extras available, but once specced with a half decent colour (orange) and with the auto gearbox you are nudging £29k.

£29k seemed alot of cash for that car.

One of the selling points of the GT86 is the reference to '86' which is the mm bore of the block and the mm diameter of the exhaust pipe - a quick check of the undercarriage showed a small 'normal zorst with a 'big' 86mm decorative bit stuck on the end.....

Straight out of the BMW box, the M135i at £29995 seems a cracker of a deal - oh and with 116bhp more.........

Edited by fatcat
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Saw an M135 in the flesh at Gaydon. Looks ace, not as small as I imagined. Well, I say it looks ace - it looks ace for a 1 series hatchback. I'm not convinced by the shape, but it's the only thing I'm not convinced by! 4.9s in DCT form, chipped it'll be insane.

At 30k ish and a bit for a nice spec. Just wow! Just struggling with the looks.

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I love the rear of the new 1 series 3/5 door - it looks really well planted. But like others I'm still a bit unsure about that front.

So, what are people's thoughts on colour?

Interlagos blue with the blue interior trim strip?

Valencia Orange?! Too ASBO? Potentially a nice contrast with the grey mirrors & details.

Mineral Grey for the subtle approach?

The car is such a bargain I feel I really ought to try one out. If it drives as well as it should on paper, I might be able to overlook that front end.... :P

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I really wish they'd plant that engine in a coupe...then I wouldn't think twice as I'm not really keen on the 1 series shape whatsoever!

Getting some new tyres fitted at ATS this morning and a thumbed through Car magazine. They report the engine will be in the coupe and convertable next year and will be re-badged as a 2 series.

They also write of a few more 'M' cars on the way in the next 2 years in 3 and 5 series cars. One that grabbed me was a 4 wheel drive 3 series with the 1m coupe engine.

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