The new 135i lacks the earthy smell of horsehair and pungent gasoline scent of my 2002. Its simple knobs and dials have long since been replaced with silicon-dampened levers, electronically weighted dials and one-touch switches. And the 2002 profile, as distinguished as Jay Leno's chin, simply ain't there.

Is my heart broken? Not really. The 135i is a fine car in its own right. It doesn't need to emulate anything to be a great car.

Fast as hell right out of the box, the 135i and its twin turbo six conspire to make it a genuine factory hot rod. On the local "test loop," the 135i entered freeway speeds at triple digits. It does this effortlessly, barely breaking a sweat, daring you to keep your foot in it. The 135i is something of a "point and shoot" car, a vehicle so quick it was like shooting a crossbow between fellow drivers. Little openings become viable targets.

Yeah, I became quite the dick in the 135i. I never remember having the same problem in the 2002.Les Bidrawn

From The Hip
+ Brilliant engine, exceptional handling, huge fun factor
-Just about 3 Series price for less car

2009 BMW 135i
*Layout
Longitudinal front engine, rear-wheel drive
*Engine
3.0-liter I6, dohc, 24-valve, turbocharged and intercooled
*Transmission
Six-speed manual
*Performance
Peak Power: 300 hp @ 5800 rpm
Peak Torque: 300 lb-ft @ 1400 rpm 0-60
mph: 5.1 sec.
Top Speed: 130 mph (limited)
Fuel Economy: 17 city/25 hwy
Price as Tested: $43,220

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