Jeremy Clarkson Doesn’t Know the Difference Between a BMW 1M and M135i

In the latest Top Gear episode, Jeremy Clarkson does what numerous other people before him did: a comparison test between the best 3 hot hatches of the moment.
Top Gear Lap Time Panel 1 photo
Photo: Screenshot
Care to guess which ones I’m talking about? Done? It’s the Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG, BMW M135i and Golf VII GTI. Didn’t expect that last one, did you? Neither did I but, after all, the GTI did sort-of invent this niche, didn’t it? Therefore, I think it deserves just as much to be here as the other two (if not more) but the comparison might not be fair.

After all, the Golf stuck to its roots and is using a 2-liter turbocharged engine. While displacement isn’t necessarily a problem (the Merc uses the same size), power is. The VW lags behind the other two by at least 90 HP and more torque, it’s still used in this comparison.

In his usual way, Jezza dismisses the Merc in 2 seconds, saying that it’s simply too expensive leaving this to be a 2 horse race. The usual drag race between the two doesn’t do justice to the BMW that eventually spins out at 120 mph due to aquaplaning and the Brit proceeds to dismiss it as well.

Therefore, the Golf is declared the clear winner afterwards, both because Jeremy doesn’t know how to drive a RWD car on the very wet Top Gear track and also because the VW is more practical. However, the reason we’re here is different.

After his ‘review’ was over, the two cars were handed over to the Stig to have a go round the track. Needless to say that the BMW obliterated the Golf but ended up finishing just 0.1 seconds slower than the 1M Coupe.

That’s where hilarity issued, as Jezza said the M135i finished slower than its 'predecessor', even though the track was dry. Oh boy.... You see, Mr. ‘Right all the time’, the two are nowhere similar and they don’t share a bolt, as a matter of fact.

The 1M Coupe was a full on M car, specially prepared by the Motorsport division to be crazy fast and fun, just as any other M car should be. Furthermore, the name in itself says plenty as one is a Coupe and one is a Hatchback.

The latter is also not a true M car. It’s just an M Performance Automobile which means it has a bit more power and better components than a ‘regular’ 135i but is nowhere close to a true Motorsport division creation.

If it was any other person in the world, maybe I wouldn’t have made such a big deal out of it. A lot of people make this confusion, but this is the most famous auto show host in the world and, if he didn’t know the difference, maybe someone in his staff should’ve. After all, they always claim they’re the best... You can watch the show here, before they take it down.
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