BMW Great Britain is pleased to announce the introduction of the BMW 130i – a car powered by the world’s lightest six-cylinder petrol engine. First seen on the BMW 630i and the BMW 330i, the new car boasts 258bhp and 300Nm of torque to deliver class leading performance figures.
The aluminium and magnesium alloy 3.0-litre straight-six petrol engine powers the BMW 130i from zero to 62mph in 6.2 seconds and on to a top speed of 155mph. These figures better rivals such as the Alfa Romeo 147 GTA, Audi A3 3.2 V6 Sport Quattro Sportback and the Mercedes C320 SE Sports Coupé. Such high levels of performance aligned with the near perfect 50:50 weight distribution have also resulted in the BMW 130i lapping the challenging Northern Loop of the Nürburgring in an impressive 8 minutes 35 seconds. All this and the car still posts a respectable fuel consumption figure on the combined cycle of 31.4mpg.
Jim O’Donnell, Managing Director of BMW (GB) Ltd, said: "The 1 Series has proved a real hit in a market where a rear-wheel-drive car is unique and the arrival of the 130i promises to shake things up further. Some have already referred to the model as a baby ‘M’ car - something that is not surprising given it can lap the Nürburgring in a time that wouldn’t disgrace an M3."
The commendable figures are due in part to the VANOS and VALVETRONIC valve opening and valve lift control mechanisms that ensure optimum combustion and engine breathing at all times. An electrically driven water pump also cuts down on internal engine friction and improves efficiency. Power is transmitted to the road via a standard six-speed manual gearbox feeding power to the rear wheels.
Several key styling features mark the BMW 130i out from the four-cylinder-powered models already on sale. The new car receives chrome kidney grille slats, features 17-inch alloy wheels and displays large twin chrome exhaust pipes at the rear. These are more than a styling enhancement though, as the last section of the exhaust system also plays an important role in the performance of the car thanks to a valve in the rear section opening and closing depending on throttle input. At rest and slower speeds the valve is closed for better emissions, while at higher speeds it is opened fully for improved engine breathing and a more satisfying aural note.
Standard interior trim for the 130i includes Sports seats, leather steering wheel, BMW Business radio with single CD player and six airbags. Customers will also be able to specify BMW’s innovative and award-winning Active Steering system that ensures the optimum steering ratio at any speed.
An unveiling at the Geneva Motor Show in March heralds the first public appearance of the 130i before it goes on sale in the UK in Autumn 2005. Prices will be announced at a later date.
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