M140i

Massively long-winded post alert..... In summary, skip to the end if you'd like to see pictures of an M140i. If your bored or in anyway interested, the below is the background to how I ended up choosing it!

Its amazing as you grow older how priorities change in life. Kids, jobs, houses etc. I used to change my car nearly every year in my mid twenties, and have had some really standout cars I've enjoyed driving (306 Rallye, 850 R, V5 STI etc). I've become more and more sensible as I've got older in regards to what I drive day to day. I couldn't actually believe it the other day when I worked it out, but the last petrol road car i'd had to use day on day was the V5 impreza back in 2007.

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Instead, I've had numerous Peugeots and then an MX5 as lanes and night navigation cars. All great fun, but finding the desire to work on them and maintain them over the past number of years has waned significantly. The time and effort required for an occasional Saturday just doesn't fit with family life these days. I finally sold the Mx5 early in 2019. Since then I've been using the Shooting Brake as my day to day car and family wagon. Its served its purpose really well. Commuting back and forth to Belfast, driving all around Ireland, across England, Wales and France on various holidays. Its supremely comfortable and powerful enough. What it definitely doesn't supply is a fun or engaging drive.

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I had initially passed on my E91 330d Touring to my other half, as I completely loved that car. Unfortunately it soon started to develop some crazy electrical gremlins. It basically resulted in me having to get her a reliable car in a day! I rushed out using her extensive criteria:
  1. I need to be able to park it.​
  2. I like red.​
I picked up a nearly new Megane pretty much because it was red and I liked the DRL's + the tech in the interior (My inner geek taking control) :joy: . In fairness, its been faultless for the last 2 years. The economy of it is quite unfathomable. It easily returns between 50 and 60mpg without even thinking about it. It is without doubt, one of the slowest and lifeless cars I've ever driven however.

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Rolling into 2019, the family transportation needs are completely met. 1 dog, 1 cat, 2 kids, 2 goldfish and not a people carrier or SUV in sight! As you can see though, nothing really massively engaging for someone who really enjoys the process of actually driving. A house move ensued last year, so i knew I was going to hold off for a while before doing anything about it. The initial plan was to change the Shooting Brake in December of this year. I'll have had it three years, so I'd be itchy for something else. During the last few months at home though.... I began to browse.... :monkey: The 'Whats in the classifieds' thread began to see increasing visits and usedcarsni seemed to be at the top of my cached sites.

Man logic soon was in the driving seat. Option 1 was to change the Shooting Brake early. But i came to the conclusion, I'd only end up changing like for like. Top of the list was a G30 530d touring. Definitely missed the BMW and the straight six in the old 330d. As nice a car as it is, its still another diesel estate for family duties. Every time I see the Shooting Brake, I really do still love the way it looks and its performing admirably. Why change it?

Option 2 kicked in. 'Something for the weekend'. I went and looked at a few things. A couple of Imprezas (reliving my youth) a 987 boxster 2.7 and a VX220. The Impreza's just weren't quite as nice as I remembered :worried:. I think its just a symptom of them being the age they are now. As an ex MX5 owner, the thought of any rust and rot was not what I was looking for. The others where nice as well, but my other half 'strongly advised' that I park the idea of a third car. An additional insurance policy and tax etc is a little bit more hassle, but more to the point was the question of when I'd actually get time to drive another car. Especially a two seater where the kids couldn't join me.

Option 3. My other half also said she was very happy with her Megane and didn't want to change it.... :monkey:. What a hilarious sense of humour she has (I decided).

She does relatively few miles, wants something reliable and hatchback sized. I wanted something fun to drive. I was squarely in hot hatch territory. Its golden times for the hot hatch. Somewhat spoilt for choice. Golf R, S3, A35, new M135i, N30 Performance. All turned into contenders. But the YouTube videos for one car in particular where exciting me. The M140i. I knew how much I loved the BMW straight six. Surely having a petrol version in a smaller hatchback with rwd was nothing but good news?

After getting a drive, I was sold. I don't think its quite as competent as the Golf R at getting the power down and covering ground, but it had some massive points which swung me.
  • Ride Quality - Even on passive dampers it feels more liveable with than the Golf day to day. Its still more solid that what I'm used to these days, but i personally found the golf a little jarring at times.
  • Interior Quality - Its well built. as you'll see below, I went for a later Shadow Edition and its had some interior revisions that really help it. It doesn't quite have the 'tech' of the others, but iDrive is still hard not to get along with.
  • The drive. :heart_eyes:. This was the clincher for me. Its a little bit silly really, but it put a big grin on my face. It seems to feel like it has the same level of torque as the merc, but it will rev into that glorious straight six. I squirms and buckles from the rear when your pushing on. I think its abit 'fussy' over uneven surface when your trying to get the power now. Not clinical. But soooo much fun.
After looking at a few, I knew i wanted a low mileage 17 or early 18 shadow edition. This would effectively give me the 'run out' spec, without having the PPF/GPF. I've had enough DPF's in my time to see what happens down that road. I ended up choosing a low mileage Shadow Edition. This gave it some nice extras; A minor revised dashboard layout, Pro iDrive, Hardon/Kardon sound, privacy glass, black grill surrounds, darker wheels, dark front light interior and darkened rear lenses. Additionally, this example had piano black inlays (meh) and most importantly of all, an M Performance exhaust. The only thing I had to sacrifice when looking at other examples, was heated seats. The lure of the performance exhaust however, was too much!

Its a standard car, and most who know me, know that i don't tend to go crazy with modifications. Just enjoy the driving mainly! However, on the very day I picked it up, a group buy for a Quaife LSD appearing on babybmw.net. Having had a Quaife in a couple of the old Peugeots and an LSD in the MX5, I was kind of sold, and put a deposit down! I've got until the end of September to get it fitted, so will update here on the process and thoughts!

Other purchases include gloss back mirror covers and materials to paint the grey inserts on the front bumper. Also have order replacement black M140i and M badges, plus a black boot badge surround. Not completely sure i'll fit them all yet, but would like to remove any remaining chrome/grey.

Only other two items that I may consider is the OEM rear underbody brace kit which is fitted as standard to the 235i and M2 I believe. It should just tighten the back a little and help lessen the skipping a little bit, without sacrificing ride quality. I'll probably wait until after the Quaife is fitted though, to see how it feels. Finally, there are tons of options regarding remapping etc. I can't get over how easily these can be mapped or have a JB4 added with such insane results. My current thinking, is that it doesn't really need any more power for the road, but given the cost effective upgrade it is, its almost rude not to. An MHD flash is currently top of the list, should i decided to do it. Will probably be post Quaife again at any rate.

Anyway. Enough waffling. Congratulations if you actually read any of it :joy:. Time for pictures!

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I'm over the moon to be honest. I can't stop driving it. Appreciate its not an M3 or likes, but I'm chuffed with how fun it is to drive, whilst still being able to function as a car for the family needs. I find it more that quick enough for our roads in all honesty. The kids think its an absolute riot (I think as I get older, I appreciate how much enjoyment I get from seeing the kids being genuinely excited about it. I just wouldn't have been able to share it in the same way in a two seater).

As for my wife. She is just happy that I got her another red car.

oh no. wait. 🤦‍♂️
 

Lyons

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Lol, great write up Andy. Fantastic wee car, such good all rounders. I’ve never heard the M Performance exhaust, I’m sure it’s pleasant!
 

gav525

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Great write up that and cracking choice. These look like great wee hot hatches, bet it sounds class!

Health to drive 👍🏻
 

wonka

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Excellent Andy! I like how your man maths works!
Miss seeing the shooting brake around the town so much since the move - it always caught my eye.
 

Big Pimp

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I really enjoyed your write up.
And the M140i is a great car. Unbelievably potent as you mention with a simple map

can’t wait to hear what think of the diff

you know you’re going to have to practice a few junction slides.
I find it so hard not to in the M3. It’s like a rear wheel drive car with a diff is supposed to do it!
 

RComms

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Thanks all!

@ChrisL, 15 years now :eek: . I dunno what it would take at this point for me to move on. Its kinda worked for me. They have been great during this whole thing to be honest as well. I've been working away from home the whole time, and will be for a good bit yet. where are you now?

@Big Pimp , the simple fact of the matter is that I can't flipping wait to get the diff on. However, its also true that not everyone living under this roof currently may technically be aware of this purchase yet.... 🤷‍♂️

@gav525 , it sounds well, but not 'C63' well :joy:. Saw you filling up on the Castlewellan road the other week. I'm a sucker for quick estates :heart_eyes: . Why would you sell that!?! :monkey:
 

ChrisL

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Thanks all!

@ChrisL, 15 years now :eek: . I dunno what it would take at this point for me to move on. Its kinda worked for me. They have been great during this whole thing to be honest as well. I've been working away from home the whole time, and will be for a good bit yet. where are you now?

@Big Pimp , the simple fact of the matter is that I can't flipping wait to get the diff on. However, its also true that not everyone living under this roof currently may technically be aware of this purchase yet.... 🤷‍♂️

@gav525 , it sounds well, but not 'C63' well :joy:. Saw you filling up on the Castlewellan road the other week. I'm a sucker for quick estates :heart_eyes: . Why would you sell that!?! :monkey:

Im still at AMT Sybex mate. Enjoying it alot, been here since leaving Equiniti. Working from home full time during this pandemic but id say itll be WFH at least 3 days a week moving forward. Really suits me now I must say and the new house will have a fully kitted out office for me a the wife.
 

StuartS

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Great choice, I’ve had my m140i almost 2 years now.

Bilstein B12 pro kit makes a big difference to the feeling at speed and over uneven surfaces. Good value for money

Enjoy
 

RComms

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@J55NI , because of grabbing an extra load of dosh from a new buyer I suspect. I really do rate heated seats as a must have to be honest, but as there wasn't any in the megane, I'll try to man up abit :laughing:.

@StuartS , I read your entire thread on here when I was considering different things. Wasn't fully sold on a white one, but thought yours looked ace. Lot of good reports about the B12, and its not crazy money either. I may consider it down the line, but would be wary of doing anything that would compromise the ride quality. Diff first, then we'll see!

@Gaz , Did see that. Great looking breadvan. Touch of Shooting Brake about it ironically!

The MPE works for me, but i'd suggest it wouldn't be for everyone. Its pretty much 'OEM+'. You legitimately wouldn't know its not a standard exhaust except for when your on it, and during the cold start. Otherwise its alot mellower than I expected. If your looking enhanced pops and burbles, seems the Remus is the solution. However to actually live with this car and not get divorced, this is the best option!
 

StuartS

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@J55NI , because of grabbing an extra load of dosh from a new buyer I suspect. I really do rate heated seats as a must have to be honest, but as there wasn't any in the megane, I'll try to man up abit :laughing:.

@StuartS , I read your entire thread on here when I was considering different things. Wasn't fully sold on a white one, but thought yours looked ace. Lot of good reports about the B12, and its not crazy money either. I may consider it down the line, but would be wary of doing anything that would compromise the ride quality. Diff first, then we'll see!

@Gaz , Did see that. Great looking breadvan. Touch of Shooting Brake about it ironically!

The MPE works for me, but i'd suggest it wouldn't be for everyone. Its pretty much 'OEM+'. You legitimately wouldn't know its not a standard exhaust except for when your on it, and during the cold start. Otherwise its alot mellower than I expected. If your looking enhanced pops and burbles, seems the Remus is the solution. However to actually live with this car and not get divorced, this is the best option!
The B12 kit actually improves the ride quality, I found the rear of the car especially to very crashy standard. And the drop is only around 10mm

Let me know how the diff changes the car, I have considered one myself
 

Cooper

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These are brilliant - the N55 and B58 both being great engines and I was surprised how much fun the 1/2 are to drive. I remember you taking me out for a spirited run in the Rallye back in the day! Health to enjoy.
 

RComms

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@Cooper , already has a few spirited runs in this. Kinda reminds me at times of the old Rallye.... Bar the fact this is a monster in comparison 😀

@StuartS , we'll need to do an lsd/b12 comparison meet 😂. Between us we might get the perfect combo!
 

RComms

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Great choice, the reviews on these are positive. I think they are the perfect all rounder.

By 'all rounder', I'm interpreting it as finely balancing the never ending struggle between wanting a full on mid life crisis and having a family who care not 2 jots about cars. :grinning:

Does anyone else find it gets really awkward to answer 'why' we need to change from an economical and reliable (reliable in the context of owning a Renault I grant you) car to one which is enjoyable to drive? You try to explain... only to be countered by 'I don't get it'. 🤦‍♂️ . I'm hoping the fact that its red and will be a easier to drive in winter will show its worth.*

The reviews are indeed great. Which definitely helped me before I drove one. There are a ton of Youtube videos out there on them. However, I can't help but put my hands up and admit that the very same reviews nearly put me off it to an extent, given that the demographic seems to be pretty far removed from myself 8o|. If you ever see it wrapped in burnt orange and/or any shade which could be interpreted as purple, or I start talking about adding extra bling, please feel free to send me a strongly worded letter.

(*sadly none of which is true).
 

RComms

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My first 'de-chrome/de-greying' pieces gradually arrived through the post in the last few days and I fitted them all today. Just simple, cost effective changes which I'm really pleased with I have to say.

First thing was a gloss black ring to replace the chrome surround of the BMW badge on the bootlid

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Next up, I removed the two front 'canard' bumper pieces and resprayed gloss black. Happy with how they turned out and much more cost effective than ordering black replacements at £80. Although you kind of lose the definition of these trim pieces against the black of the intake, I still think it looks more in keeping with the rest of the trim.

Finally, I'd ordered some gloss black OEM style wing mirror covers. Very pleased with them. I wanted the mirrors to look like OEM, rather than the 'M3/M4' style that seems to be popular as a replacement. Not really a look I wanted, given the rest of the car is so understated.

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Obviously, the mere act of me touching a car to make any change meant that not everything would go entirely to plan. I had abit of brain fade and decided to leverage out the passenger side mirror glass with a trim remover from the wrong side (i.e. the outside, not the inside). The result...

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Pretty narked at myself, but was somewhat appeased when I went to look for a replacement and discovered they are shared with the F20/F30 and a pretty common replacement. 10 english pounds is seeing a new heated mirror winging its way to me already. thankfully 🤦‍♂️

In other news, I was trying to get a date sorted to get the diff fitted on friday with Birds BMW (Birds have the exclusive distribution rights for BMW and Mercedes Quaife differentials). By coincidence, Birds also provide the diff as part of a 'dynamic' package alongside their 'B Series' suspension upgrade. This is basically a Bilstein B12 kit which custom spring rates and damper setup for UK roads. Seems to be pretty well rated;

https://www.evo.co.uk/bmw/m140i/202709/birds-bmw-m140i-review-british-tuner-tweaks-bmws-rear-drive-hot-hatch
https://drive-my.com/en/test-drive/item/4154-2019-bmw-m140i-f20-birds-b1-dynamic-package-430bhp.html

I've enquired about a deal to do this alongside the Quaife as part of the group buy! ( :grinning: 8o|), so we'll see what they come back with. A little bit hesitant as its hard to get a drive in one over here, so not sure if I'll actually pull the trigger on the suspension or not. We'll see!
 

Nigel kyle

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Loving your choice of car and colour. If your looking to beef up the look of the 140i I’d recommend maxton design spilitter and rear spoiler strip. Cheap, easy fitted and quality pretty good too. The rear diffuser I always thought was cheap looking and the wrong colour. I went for the Reiger one of eBay. Great fitment but A bumper of job to fit properly. Finally 12mm spacers all round help the cars stance no end. Enjoy the journey.
 

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RComms

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@Nigel kyle . Funny, I was just looking at some of the maxton bits their earlier. I've an M Performance spoiler on my list for down the line, but the little maxton tip spoiler in black looks quite subtle.

What splitter is that, as I see they have 3 variants? Also, is yours on springs with the 12mm spacers?

Oddly enough I'm ok with the rear diffuser. I get what you mean about the colour, but it doesn't upset me to be honest! Tempted to top and tail the splitter/spoiler at some point.
 
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