AC Schnitzer ACS1 review: the ‘Green Hell’ modified BMW M135i

What am I considering below?
It’s the A/c Schnitzer ACS1 ‘Environment-friendly Heck’. It is, basically, a BMW M135i that’s been placing in the HIIT exercises in its front room over the past year or two.

Did the M135i need an exercise?
Oh yes. The old one– and its M140i successor– became something of a cult standard. It was a long way except best, but it was a rear-wheel-drive hot hatchback with a longitudinally installed straight-six engine. It seemed like a club among hammers in the warm hatch course, yet it was special.

However then BMW switched the 1 Series to a natively front-driven hatch– and also a wonderful one, in base trim– whipping such specialness away momentarily. “Right here’s the core of the M135i’s problem,” said m’ colleague Ollie. “It no longer has an unique engine or drivetrain. It’s not the fastest hot hatch, or the roomiest, or one of the most delicious inside, and also it’s absolutely not the prettiest.”

That’s rather a laundry list for Schnitzer to fix.
Nope, and also it’s understandably not tried the entire lot. The Aachen-based tuner focuses on suspension as well as trim, normally, so a whole redesign might have been taking on a little way too much.

Mind, I’m willing to say the easy button to San Remo Eco-friendly has actually taken an affordable quantity of edge off the latest One’s styling. Or perhaps it’s the hindsight of the half-dozen or two cars BMW has surprised us with considering that the F40-gen 1 Collection initially appeared revealing that these grilles are really small grilles.

That colour is half the factor Schnitzer’s nicknamed its brand-new ACS1 the ‘Green Hell’. You can think the other half; the ‘RS Suspension’ coilovers we’re seemingly evaluating right here have actually been developed not just on roadway, however on a particular toll road. Which is handily situated an hour or two south of the receiver’s HQ.

What type of suspension are we talking?
“Primarily for experienced motorists,” Schnitzer tells us, “RS suspension is still incredibly comfortable, liquid as well as accurate, closing the misconception that coilovers need to give a difficult trip.” It’s all manually adjustable yet gets here clicked into advised setups from the company’s extensive testing around the Nürburgring.

And also in short, it makes the M135i a sharper, much more sharp automobile yet one which will not rattle your dental fillings out. Also as specced right here on frankly cartoonish 20in alloy wheels. They do provide the Green Hell’s development a somewhat weak edge, but the body control is top notch and you can deploy significantly even more of the bolshy all-weather speed these 300bhp-plus, AWD hatches are so adept at.

There’s still a mite of torque guide when you’re truly gutsy, but as somebody who favors vehicles this shape and size to be front-driven, it livens points up perfectly in my point of view. There’s even more urgency here, even if the M135i’s really small flamboyancy levels have not actually altered.

Do I collect there isn’t any added power?
There isn’t. Schnitzer would love to supply some, yet the eight-speed automatic transmission was running near to its restrictions when they liberated an additional 20bhp or so from the M135i’s stock 2.0-litre 4cyl turbo, as well as we’re told a walking of at the very least 50bhp is crucial to make individuals in fact intend to tick the options box. So peak outcomes continue to be 302bhp and also 332lb feet, helpful for 0-62mph in 4.8 secs and a 155mph top speed.

Though you could eke a sliver of additional performance from the Environment-friendly Heck thanks to its step-by-step weight reduction. Flow-forming aids those 20in wheels compensate for their extra size, and also at 11kg apiece they’re in fact lighter than BMW’s own 19s, while they come wrapped in wise Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires. The driving experience hasn’t been revolutionised, however the details are currently in sharper focus.

Anything I ought to learn about inside?
It’s a suggestion of how remarkably sensible BMW’s base ergonomics are, for beginners. A wide range of switches is welcome as the world goes hugely touchscreen– something the following 1 Series (or whatever its ‘i1’ electrical equivalent may be) will certainly succeed to duplicate. Schnitzer’s refrained lots, one of the most noticeable tweak being its own, extended steering wheel paddles.

On very first glimpse they look the weeniest little bit naff, lurid red arrows punctuating or else sober surroundings, yet they’re neat, tactile which flash of colour in fact makes you most likely to flip up and down of your own accord. It’s a continuous pointer the paddles exist. When there’s eight short equipments being shuffled about at the car’s diktat, it can be simple to neglect just how involved you can get.

You can likewise spec a new set of pedals, while a sports exhaust pipes in a bit more sound without resorting to playing it via the speakers like BMW’s very own M135i update. The sound it makes is fairly amazing, yet it eventually brings a more powerful regularity of 4cyl turbo noise therefore its ₤ 1,750 expense is ideal paid when you have actually sampled a test cars and truck on your own, actually.

Oh yes. We require to speak money …
We do. Everything you see below totals ₤ 11,583, which put on a new M135i gives you a fifty grand bill, all told. Helpfully you get warranty defense– the BMW one continues to cover the little bits that haven’t been Schnitzered, while the tuner will certainly cover the rest of your BMW contract for the bits that have– but ultimately you do not require to invest that much.

You can cherry pick options– those paddles setting you back ₤ 295, the adorable roof covering looter around ₤ 500, as an example– to make both the costs as well as the conversion a little bit extra subtle. Undoubtedly, in the UK you’ll see really couple of ACS1s this smarten upped. AC Schnitzer typically offers lots of suspension upgrades but only assemble a couple of complete makeovers a month.

And that’s what we would certainly do– pass up the fragile-looking front splitter as well as the 20in wheels (saving over 5 grand straight away), regardless of just how appealing the latter’s lightweighting appears. The huge change in character comes from the suspension, which you can snare for ₤ 2,500.

And also crucially not simply on the M135i– the easier BMW 128ti warm hatch, which we’re big fans of, can also hold the elegant coilovers, supplying a total not far over ₤ 35k when you lump in the automobile. You might need to find up with another nickname, though …