The BMW 130i is the only rear-wheel driven competitor in CAR’s January 2009 issue Ultimate Hot Hatch Shootout and none of its rivals sport an acclaimed Bavarian straight six-powerplant… We get it sideways at Killarney!
By Mike Fourie – Editor
The 1 Series, initially launched in SA in five-door guise, got a lot more street cred when BMW slotted one of its famous multi-valve straight sixes into the hatchback’s engine bay. Following the latest facelift, and the addition of a 3-door version, the 130i Sport not only looks the part, but has the shove to back it up.
The 3-door derivative is characterised by doors with frameless windows, a long bonnet and short overhangs. The 130i Sport featured in CAR magazine’s 2009 Track Shootout is fitted with a BMW Motorsport package, which adds an aerodynamic body kit, sports suspension, 18-inch wheels and twin stainless steel exhaust tips.
And even if the “Shooting Brake” looks of the 130i Sport leave you indifferent, few things can make up for its glorious straight six exhaust note… The Sport is powered by a 3,0-litre, straight six, which comes equipped with bi-Vanos trick valve timing, and develops 195 kilowatts and 315 Newton metres of torque.
The powerplant is mated with a six-speed manual gearbox. Zero to 100 kilometres per hour takes 6,9 seconds and the top speed limited to 250 km/h.
The 1 Series isn’t renowned for having an overly-luxurious, sophisticated, or spacious interior, come to think of it, but standard interior features include a leather-trimmed sports steering wheel, auxiliary audio input, on-board computer and air conditioning. Active steering, electrically-adjustable seats, climate control, a 10-speaker sound system, and satellite navigation are optional extras.
Six airbags, run-flat tyres, dynamic stability-, traction- and cornering brake control systems are standard features. The ABS comes equipped with brake drying and -fade compensation technology, and the rear light clusters display the force at which the driver presses the brake pedal.
You can read South African circuit racing stars Hennie Groenewald and Philip Kekana’s track appraisals of 130i in the January 2009 issue of CAR magazine, in which we put 18 of South Africa’s hottest hatches to the test at Killarney.
Read a driving impression of the 130i.
Download wallpapers from the Track Shootout here: Batch 1, Batch 2 and Batch 3, or Batch 4.