Shadow Boxing – BMW M140i Shadow edition review

BMW M140 Shadow edition review New Zealand

Anyone that’s watched a professional boxing bout will have probably witnessed a fighter rapidly punch the air or shadow-box upon arrival to the ring. In essence, Shadowboxing is sparing with an imaginary opponent, (often in front of a mirror) and is an integral part of training – it teaches form, enhances speed, and increases spatial awareness. Not only is this one of the oldest and purest ways for a boxer to warm up their muscles for a fight but it looks pretty cool too. Watch any Rocky movie or seek out Ali’s shadow boxing routine for ABC’s Wide World of Sports, to see what I mean.

Now although it has its similarities, I found out that the BMW M140i Shadow Edition is something else altogether, or then again, maybe not.

The Shadow Edition is an international contender. It’s a global venture adopted by BMW NZ and evidently a model that possesses hidden skills. Using the BMW M140i as its base (certainly not a bad place to start), the Shadow Edition adds a sinister attitude to this popular hyper-hatch.

The model I got my hands on came in a striking Estoril blue shrouded with ‘smokey’ exterior accents. The combination of a low-stanced sports car with black kidney grills and headlight trims, and specially designed 18” alloy wheels, quickly grabs your attention, but that is just the start of the story.

The interior comes with all manner of M-Sport finishing. Figure-hugging‘Dakota’ leather sports seats, high gloss black mixed with Aluminium Hexagon surrounds the cabin, M leather wheel, I could go on. This is all underscored with BMW driving and driver technology such as Driving Assistant, Park Distance Control, Lane Departure Warning, BMW Connected+, oh and a powerful Harman Kardon sound system that you’ll probably not want to use, as under the bonnet is an engine that begs your attention to go a few rounds with.

The 3L 6-cylinder powerhouse is an absolute doozy. From the moment you push that start button to the time you push that rev needle towards the red, its deep reassuring tone stays with you. 250kW and 500Nm is not to be sniffed at and nor is its 0-100km/h time of 4.6 seconds. Paddles are there to hold the 8-speed sport transmissions gears where you want them, and the rev matching as you decelerate in auto shows off the M140i’s true colours.

I have to admit to spending the majority of my time in Sport and Sport + (hence my lack of need for the stereo), and it’s a place where the variable sports steering and M sport suspension was a welcome addition – although the hatch’s tail end does like to waggle, or should I say dance like a professional Welterweight since I’m using boxing analogys.

The M140i is an experience to drive and a good one at that. Some view the tail end of the BMW 1 series as being a little boxy in design, I think it suits the hatchback segment where it resides but regardless of your thoughts on this, the combination of that powertrain that never  seems to run out of steam, that M stance and those smokey good looks, the M140i Shadow Edition is a hyper-hatch worth sparing with.

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