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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Fast for Less Cash
While it may seem that automakers are focusing more on fuel efficiency than performance these days, cars are actually getting faster and (in some cases) cheaper. If you’re in the market for a performance car under $50,000, you might be surprised just how fast they can get.
Taking a look at 0-60 mph acceleration times*, we have compiled a list of the Top 10 fastest vehicles available on today’s market for under $50,000 including destination.
The BMW M135i concept was teasing us at the Geneva Motor Show, as BMW would not confirm if it was going to become a production car. Now, we know it will be put into production, and we caught the hot hatch in our spy photos out testing on the Nurburgring in Germany.
The BMW M135i will get its power from an I-6 turbocharged engine that will make roughly 330 hp and 370 lb.-ft. of torque. An optional all wheel drive setup will also be offered on the M135i, and a choice of manual or automatic transmissions. The car may also have a diesel option as well, following in the footsteps of the X5 M50d, and the X6 M50d.
Though it hasn’t been made official by the German automaker themselves, it is widely believed that the BMW M135i Concept which is debuting at the upcoming 2012 Geneva Motor Show, will be heading to production.
The M135i Concept will head to Geneva with an inline-six powerplant featuring BMW’s “M Performance Twin Power Turbo technology”. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be twin-turbo, but we’re expecting it to be making around 335-hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. BMW has only promised that it’ll sport over 300-hp.
According to an inside source, the M135i will head to production and will have an optional xDrive configuration. The majority of Europe will definitely be getting it, and we’ll hold our breath on whether or not it’ll make its way to America. It’s really not a huge surprise to hear that the M135i will make its way to production, but this is as close to confirmation as we are going to get for now.
GALLERY: BMW M135i
A few weeks back, BMW announced that it would make a Performance Edition Package available to owners of N55 powered 335i coupes and sedans.
Now, the company has announced that a variation of that same $550 package will also be offered on the 135i as well, with dealers providing it as a retrofit on current models. Said package includes black grille surrounds, special badging and some tweaks to the single turbo engine, resulting in an additional 20 horsepower (for a total of 320 hp) and a boost in torque (to 332 lb-ft on automatic equipped cars; 317 on those fitted with a proper gearbox. Should be the other way around if you ask us.
BMW has recalled 130,000 vehicles using turbocharged inline-6 engines after complaints regarded the fuel pump used with the engine. Vehicles affected include 2007-2010 135i, 535i, X6 and Z4 cars, while another 20,000 2008 X5s are also being recalled, despite not using the turbo motor.
BMW owners approach ABC after they complained of “losing power” while driving, which was apparently the result of a fuel pump malfunction that caused the vehicle to enter into the “limp home” mode that owners of high performance engines may be too familiar with. In limp home mode, the engine reverts to a “safe” configuration that reduces power and load on the engine while ensuring that the driver can safely get the vehicle to a secure location.
ABC is said to be continuing their investigation, and we’ll avoid passing judgement untill all the facts are out.
Over the last decade or so of competitive compact motorsports, imports have mostly dominated the market, be it drag racing, drifting or time attack/road racing. There are very few standout Euros in any of those fields and when one shows up it’s memorable. We can recall when Turismo Technology built a shockingly cool 318Ti for the quarter mile back in the late 90s. It was so unusual back then that it graced the pages of more than a few different magazine publications. We can slso think of Andy Sapp, who was a crowd favorite in previous Formula DRIFT seasons, taking his BMW E46 sideways. And now there is Berk Technology’s BMW 135i that is entering its second season of Redline Time Attack competition with extremely impressive results.
Just over a week ago was the Redline Time Attack’s season opener at Buttonwillow Raceway. There was great anticipation from all the teams to see what off-season changes were made, who would attend, and who was going to be impressively quicker and faster. Berk Technology’s 135i made quite the splash last year, but never got itself a podium spot in the Street RWD class. During the off-season they made a lot of minor tweaks and it truly paid off. After some practice runs, Berk Technology’s driver, Mike Bonanni, blew the doors off their previous track record by over two seconds. They had broken the 2-minute mark with a time of 1:59.319 landing them a first place qualifier. The car had more in it and was even more impressive on its first time attack session. The 135i set a new track record for Redline Time Attack’s Street Tire RWD class with a 1:58.839.
Being the only vehicle in the Street Tire RWD class to break the 2-minute barrier for the event is quite the achievement. But being able to topple the atypical imports with a balanced European garners plenty of attention. This just proves how great and versatile of a platform the BMW 135i is and we look forward to see what Berk Technology has up their sleeves for the next Redline Time Attack event in Las Vegas.
[Source: Berk Technology]