BMW 1-Series Forum (F20) 135i - 1Addicts.com > Second Generation 1 Series Forum > 2012 BMW 1-Series Sporthatch (F20) Discussion > Clarkson Spins M135i in Top Gear Review (Video)
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      03-06-2014, 05:21 PM   #45
basiluf
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Top Gear Lap times for reference

01:24.4 Audi R8 (damp) Series 10, Episode 2
01:24.4 Aston Martin Virage Series 17, Episode 2
01:24.6 TVR Sagaris Series 6, Episode 7
01:24.8 Alfa Romeo 4C Series 21, Episode 2
01:24.8 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII MR FQ-400(damp) Series 5, Episode 7
01:24.8 TVR Tuscan Mk.II Series 6, Episode 3
01:24.9 Bentley Continental Supersports[5] Series 15, Episode 1
01:24.9 Porsche Boxster Spyder Series 15, Episode 2
01:24.9 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG Series 15, Episode 3
01:25.0 Noble M12 GTO-3R Series 1, Episode 2
01:25.0 BMW 1 Series M Coupe (damp) Series 17, Episode 1
01:25.0 Caterham R400 N/A
01:25.1 BMW M135i Series 21, Episode 5
01:25.1 Lotus Exige S Series 8, Episode 3
01:25.3 Porsche Panamera turbo Series 15, Episode 3
01:25.3 BMW M3 (E90 Saloon) Series 10, Episode 10
01:25.4 Ford GT40 Series 5, Episode 8
01:25.7 Lotus Evora Series 13, Episode 1
01:25.7 Audi RS4[6] Series 7, Episode 2
01:25.7 Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder Series 8, Episode 7
01:25.8 Lamborghini Gallardo (wet) Series 3, Episode 4
01:25.9 Morgan Aero 8 GTN Series 5, Episode 5
01:26.0 Mercedes-Benz CLK 63 AMG Black series Series 11, Episode 2
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      03-06-2014, 11:12 PM   #46
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Looks like it was a horrible accident and very glad you survived to be able to talk about it.

I am not speaking from an understanding of the science of all of this, but I can say that having owned a large number of sports cars with different orientations: FWD (Golf Gti, Alfa 147 GTA, Megane RS Trophy), AWD (two different generations of Imprezza Sti) and RWD (E36 M3, E46 Alpina B3S, Boxster S and M135i), it has always been the the RWD sports cars that make me the most nervous when it is raining hard or there is a lot of water on the road.

I have come close to losing cars more than once in the rain but almost all of the scary experiences I have had were in the RWD BMWs (the Boxster S seemed to handle water better, perhaps because of the midship design). I consider myself to be above average in driving skills, tracking all of the cars I've owned at least a few times a year, and don't think these "scary" moments were either because of my poor driving skills or because BMWs are poorly sorted-out sports cars but rather because of the inherent characteristics of driving a high-powered, rear wheel drive car. These moments were certainly not enough to scare me away from BMWs (my new M135i will arrive in 2 weeks!), but rather something that I accept when I buy one (i.e. I drive a little more slowly and more carefully in the rain in a BMW that in my FWD or AWD sports cars).

Rather than make me think the M135 is a bad car, yours and Jeremy's scary experiences are very good reminders to all of us that as much fun as the high hp/RWD mix can be, we need to drive more carefully when the weather turns on us...
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      03-07-2014, 03:14 AM   #47
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I prefer the golf but I'm sorry that was all staged. Early on during the test you can see the M135i going faster than 120mph, around 140mph and nothing happened....
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      03-07-2014, 07:44 AM   #48
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Ovekvam - DSC was enabled and I was in Comfort setting. This was just a cruise home after a long country journey.

SteveC - My tyres were Pirelli P7 Cinturato 195/55/16. The narrowest available for the F20. Given - the weren't brand new. Slightly worn but well within the legal limit. Insurance paid out without even a hint of questioning the tread depth of the tyres.

As you can see on the Top Gear video, it wasn't the front which let go. And this is exactly what I felt during my accident. It was the rear which just stepped out of line to the right, forcing the front of the car to the left just like in a classic drift. Except its a different thing when you drift on purpose and when you are caught by it by surprise at over 100 km/h.

I think that rear aerofoil/spoiler would probably place more downforce on the rear tyres, thus preventing them from loosing traction and stepping out of line.

Since the accident, I have another F20, but now I have a 50kg bag of cement in the boot putting some downforce on the rear axle. The car handles much better now.
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      03-07-2014, 08:06 AM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamazzi View Post
Since the accident, I have another F20, but now I have a 50kg bag of cement in the boot putting some downforce on the rear axle. The car handles much better now.
It takes more throttle to make it break traction, but when it does, it will be more difficult to catch. The car will also be more prone to start sliding during braking. Moving the weight bias backwards will in general make the car less stable.
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      03-07-2014, 10:50 AM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by basiluf View Post
Top Gear Lap times for reference

01:24.4 Audi R8 (damp) Series 10, Episode 2
01:24.4 Aston Martin Virage Series 17, Episode 2
01:24.6 TVR Sagaris Series 6, Episode 7
01:24.8 Alfa Romeo 4C Series 21, Episode 2
01:24.8 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII MR FQ-400(damp) Series 5, Episode 7
01:24.8 TVR Tuscan Mk.II Series 6, Episode 3
01:24.9 Bentley Continental Supersports[5] Series 15, Episode 1
01:24.9 Porsche Boxster Spyder Series 15, Episode 2
01:24.9 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG Series 15, Episode 3
01:25.0 Noble M12 GTO-3R Series 1, Episode 2
01:25.0 BMW 1 Series M Coupe (damp) Series 17, Episode 1
01:25.0 Caterham R400 N/A
01:25.1 BMW M135i Series 21, Episode 5
01:25.1 Lotus Exige S Series 8, Episode 3
01:25.3 Porsche Panamera turbo Series 15, Episode 3
01:25.3 BMW M3 (E90 Saloon) Series 10, Episode 10
01:25.4 Ford GT40 Series 5, Episode 8
01:25.7 Lotus Evora Series 13, Episode 1
01:25.7 Audi RS4[6] Series 7, Episode 2
01:25.7 Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder Series 8, Episode 7
01:25.8 Lamborghini Gallardo (wet) Series 3, Episode 4
01:25.9 Morgan Aero 8 GTN Series 5, Episode 5
01:26.0 Mercedes-Benz CLK 63 AMG Black series Series 11, Episode 2
This may be besides the point, but, there are some impressive cars in the vicinity of the time set by the M135i which is little unexpected like the M3 with a track with bunch long straights. Well just a thought....
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      03-09-2014, 05:43 AM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamazzi View Post
Since the accident, I have another F20, but now I have a 50kg bag of cement in the boot putting some downforce on the rear axle. The car handles much better now.
Is the M135i really that dangerous that it needs sandbags in the trunk? Now I am getting really worried since I have one on order. As I said, I have had 7 BMWs over the years and though I test drove the M135i 3-4 times, I never felt anything but VERY impressed with how it stacked up against my previous E36 M3 and E46 Alpina B3S as well as my wife's various bimmers.

The last car I ever felt I needed to put sandbags in the trunk for was a 1968 Cougar XR7, but my first race instructor told me that was absolutely the wrong thing to do (putting sandbags behind the rear axle). It may be different for the M135i but for the Cougar I was told that while piling sandbags in the trunk does help to prevent a spin somewhat (a major problem with late 60s Mustangs and Cougars), as soon as the rear end does start to break loose, it supposedly becomes significantly more difficult to recover because of the added inertia of the extra weight. What I was told was that the safe and useful thing to do, while inconvenient, was to put the sandbags in the back seat ahead of the rear axle. This keeps the car more balanced and doesn't add nearly as much rotational interia that you need to stop during a spin, yet it provides almost the identical benefits (without the drawbacks) of sandbags in the trunk. I wasn't about to put a sandbag in the back seat and instead just drove slower in the rain until I got my next car, a Datsun 240Z.

Very sad to hear that the BMW would knowingly sell such a dangerous car...
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      03-09-2014, 02:57 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeganeTrophyGuy View Post
Is the M135i really that dangerous that it needs sandbags in the trunk? Now I am getting really worried since I have one on order. As I said, I have had 7 BMWs over the years and though I test drove the M135i 3-4 times, I never felt anything but VERY impressed with how it stacked up against my previous E36 M3 and E46 Alpina B3S as well as my wife's various bimmers.

The last car I ever felt I needed to put sandbags in the trunk for was a 1968 Cougar XR7, but my first race instructor told me that was absolutely the wrong thing to do (putting sandbags behind the rear axle). It may be different for the M135i but for the Cougar I was told that while piling sandbags in the trunk does help to prevent a spin somewhat (a major problem with late 60s Mustangs and Cougars), as soon as the rear end does start to break loose, it supposedly becomes significantly more difficult to recover because of the added inertia of the extra weight. What I was told was that the safe and useful thing to do, while inconvenient, was to put the sandbags in the back seat ahead of the rear axle. This keeps the car more balanced and doesn't add nearly as much rotational interia that you need to stop during a spin, yet it provides almost the identical benefits (without the drawbacks) of sandbags in the trunk. I wasn't about to put a sandbag in the back seat and instead just drove slower in the rain until I got my next car, a Datsun 240Z.

Very sad to hear that the BMW would knowingly sell such a dangerous car...

I haven't heard of any M135is or F21/20s spinning out at high speed in the wet. I've had all sorts of cars over the years and one thing I've learned, and not the ultimate hard way, but the 'nearly' hard way is that fat tyres, high speed and standing water = brown underwear moments. Nothing more shit scary than suddenly feeling the wheel go all light and you have the 'floating' sensation for a few secs.

If the road is THAT wet I get off m-way/highway and take slower/ safer road.

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      03-09-2014, 03:00 PM   #53
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The m135i has almost perfect 50:50 weight distribution.

Putting weight behind the back axle will decrease downforce on the front axle, making it more prone to aquaplaning and understeer and increase braking distance and fuel consumption.

The M135i is a very fast car with wide, low profile tyres. It needs to be driven carefully in the wet, like every other high performance sports car. German autobahns with no speed limit in the dry are limited to 80 kph in the wet, for good reason
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      03-09-2014, 03:25 PM   #54
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Well I have the xdrive m135i and it does skid but doesn't go out of control. I still didn't watch the episode so I can't really comment about it, but doesn't the uk offer the xdrive version of the car?
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      03-09-2014, 03:48 PM   #55
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It is definitely possible to spin out of control with AWD cars as well when aquaplaning is involved. The car will typically lose all grip for a moment, and then get the grip back. What happens depends mostly on what the driver has done at that point. If you have the front wheels pointed in the direction of travel and no wildly spinning wheels, it will typically be possible to regain control. In these situations, it is helpful to have a clutch pedal and good reflexes.

The best drivers will anticipate the danger and slow down before it happens.
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      03-09-2014, 07:29 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ovekvam View Post
It is definitely possible to spin out of control with AWD cars as well when aquaplaning is involved. The car will typically lose all grip for a moment, and then get the grip back. What happens depends mostly on what the driver has done at that point. If you have the front wheels pointed in the direction of travel and no wildly spinning wheels, it will typically be possible to regain control. In these situations, it is helpful to have a clutch pedal and good reflexes.

The best drivers will anticipate the danger and slow down before it happens.
Totally agree and that is how I drove my M3 and Alpina B3S. I drive more carefully when there is a lot of water on the road in high powered RWD cars and assumed that would be the case with the M135…

Its just that all the talk of accidents and sandbags in the trunk got me a bit worried. My impression from a few test drives (the longest was about 3 hours) is that except for the lack of a mechanical diff, the car is (1) nothing short of a phenomenal value for the money, (2) in many ways better than my Megane Trophy (3) one of the best cars that has come out of Munich in the past 20 years and (4) a sign of good things to come…

Last edited by MeganeTrophyGuy; 03-10-2014 at 01:17 AM.
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      03-10-2014, 06:02 AM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SixDegrees View Post
I haven't heard of any M135is or F21/20s spinning out at high speed in the wet. I've had all sorts of cars over the years and one thing I've learned, and not the ultimate hard way, but the 'nearly' hard way is that fat tyres, high speed and standing water = brown underwear moments. <...>

You haven't heard? Clarkson - one, me - two.... now you heard of at least two

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveC View Post
<....> German autobahns with no speed limit in the dry are limited to 80 kph in the wet, for good reason
SteveC, sorry... but you talking nonsense. There is no such law in Germany.
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      03-10-2014, 06:09 AM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamazzi View Post
You haven't heard? Clarkson - one, me - two.... now you heard of at least two
There is something I am just not understanding yet. If the M135i is such a dangerous car to drive, what on earth made you decide to replace the crashed car with the same model?...
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      03-10-2014, 06:49 AM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamazzi View Post
SteveC, sorry... but you talking nonsense. There is no such law in Germany.
Correct. But a lot of places on the Autobahn, there are signs saying that the maximum speed limit is 80 when the road is wet ("bei nässe"). It is not a general Autobahn rule, it is just valid where the signs are.
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      03-10-2014, 07:16 AM   #60
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SteveC, sorry... but you talking nonsense. There is no such law in Germany.[/quote]

Motorway administrators limit the speed depending on traffic conditions
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      03-10-2014, 07:30 AM   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeganeTrophyGuy View Post

Very sad to hear that the BMW would knowingly sell such a dangerous car...
Quote:
Originally Posted by MeganeTrophyGuy View Post
There is something I am just not understanding yet. If the M135i is such a dangerous car to drive, what on earth made you decide to replace the crashed car with the same model?...
Well, first of all, I never said that it's a dangerous car to drive.
You said that. and that's how rumours start.
Secondly, I replaced it because it's a fantastic car to drive. Accidents happen. I spun off in a Viper few years ago. That doesn't mean its a dangerous car... Another one of my mates rolled a Golf GTi, but that doesn't mean its a dangerous car... Accidents happen. Important thing is to learn from them.
That is why, the car will receive a rear spoiler notwithstanding what the other guys are saying. Schnitzer seems to be going that way, so somehow I don't think it's a bad idea.
Same thing like making a fuss about a sandbag in the boot... Thats like saying that the car is undriveable if you put couple of bags with luggage and go on holiday with the car...
C'mon guys... get real
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      03-10-2014, 07:54 AM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamazzi View Post
Well, first of all, I never said that it's a dangerous car to drive.
You said that. and that's how rumours start.
Secondly, I replaced it because it's a fantastic car to drive. Accidents happen. I spun off in a Viper few years ago. That doesn't mean its a dangerous car... Another one of my mates rolled a Golf GTi, but that doesn't mean its a dangerous car... Accidents happen. Important thing is to learn from them.
That is why, the car will receive a rear spoiler notwithstanding what the other guys are saying. Schnitzer seems to be going that way, so somehow I don't think it's a bad idea.
Same thing like making a fuss about a sandbag in the boot... Thats like saying that the car is undriveable if you put couple of bags with luggage and go on holiday with the car...
C'mon guys... get real
Sorry, thats the problem with writing (as opposed to discussing things in person). I read too much between the lines thinking you (and Clarkson) were saying this was a dangerous car. As I said in my posts, I have experiences some scary moments and close calls in my Alpina and M3 in heavy water at high speeds that I never experienced in my FWD and AWD sports cars, and as a result drive a bit slower in in the rain in my BMWs and was expecting the same to be true of my M135.

I think I am a pretty good judge of sports cars and at least my first impressions of the M135 were far more positive than I expected as it seems each generation of BMW has gotten progressively heavier and more luxurious rather than lighter and sportier (one of the hugest surprises was the quickness and sheer enjoyment I got out of the 8 speed AT - as much as l love manuals, being caught in Tokyo traffic jams every day forces you to look for alternatives. Though I love dual clutch trannies like in my previous Boxster S and Mk6 Gti, and single clutch units like in my Alfa 147 GTA I absolutely HATED ATs until now, selling a gorgeous E46 B3S after only a year because I was so disgusted by how slow the gear changes were - I kid you not when I say that the ZF 8 is BETTER than either the PDK in my Boxster or the DSG in my Gti). Hearing (incorrectly) that the M135i was dangerous and not well made threw me for a loop. Like I said, Jeremy himself had nothing but praise for the M135i in his 2012 piece in the Sunday times so I am just trying to sort through the facts and the hyperbole (Jeremy as fun as he is to watch is often guilty of the latter).

Anyhow, this is a very interesting thread and I really appreciate your comments. Sorry if I misunderstood....
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      03-10-2014, 01:09 PM   #63
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For the pedantic among us

For the more pedantic let me be more detailed and precise:

Some German autobahns without speed limits and many with speed limits of 120 or 130kph have conditional speed limits of 80kph Bei Naesse, which means 'when wet'.

You see these signs everywhere, throughout the entire country. My point is, many roads that authorities are prepared to leave unlimited when dry, carry a conditional speed limit of 80kph when the surface is wet.

Last edited by SteveC; 03-10-2014 at 01:15 PM.
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      03-10-2014, 02:44 PM   #64
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Let's be serious. Just because Clarkson managed to lose it in wet and some other bloke also lost it in wet doesn't mean that there is a car related correlation between the two or that there is an underlying issue with M135i. The only thing in common those two incidents had is rain and speed. And the fact that most roads in PL - where the white F20 crashed, which wasn't M135i BTW - are liable to groove wander aka tramlining which in wet means constant aquaplaning.

So free your boots of cement bags (LOL), use your brains and enjoy your rides guys.
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      03-10-2014, 05:14 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by raffoul232 View Post
Well I have the xdrive m135i and it does skid but doesn't go out of control. I still didn't watch the episode so I can't really comment about it, but doesn't the uk offer the xdrive version of the car?
Nope! Only the 120D in XDrive in the UK.
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      03-10-2014, 05:29 PM   #66
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Nope! Only the 120D in XDrive in the UK.
And only 5 door.
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