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With a 52:50 weight distribution and 3.0-litre straight-six turbocharged petrol engine, the BMW M135i is a drivers' delight. The engine develops a thumping 315 bhp and 332 lb /ft of torque, and that's enough to pull this car from 0 - 62 mph in 5.1 seconds in the 6-speed manual and 4.9 seconds in the eight-speed ZF automatic. For most drivers, the 6-speed manual will suit with a crisp change and short throw, but it's the automatic that suits the character of the car best offering seamless gear shifts and a relentless urge.
It's rear-wheel-drive, too, which gifts the M135i with a level of agility no front-wheel-drive hot hatch can match. This becomes obvious when planting the accelerator out of a corner on a damp surface, because where a front-wheel-drive hatch will spin it's front wheels the BMW just grips. This car really is an impressive piece of kit - and boy does it go. The engine sounds incredible and the acceleration pins you back into your seat like a true M car should.
Incredibly, the M135i starts from just £30,845 for the 3-door. That's only £205 more than an Audi S3 yet the BMW commands a better badge and potentially better residuals.
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