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. 🤦‍♂️
 
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