The R4R 1er.. I don't think this car needs an introduction, but for the Power Crazy Petrolheads who only believe in maximum PS and NM you are in for a surprise.
These cars were chosen by the company owners at Rent4Ring because of its lightweight composition, small Four Cylinder Petrol Turbo, apt Chassis and they knew it would make a good upgrade to the Suzuki Swift Sport that is currently one of the most popular Rental Cars at the Nürburgring!
Firstly, I really like the look of these cars. They are small and easy to manoeuvre - nimble and also enjoyable even when cruising. There are currently 4-5 of these cars at Rent4Ring and they have increased in popularity to the point where we are now running out of booking spaces, especially at the weekend!
Driving these cars is something special. Sadly a lot of people hear the quoted power output and assume these cars will be slow or dull, but that really isn't the case! These little cars pick up speed a lot quicker than you would expect. Automatic Transmission with Paddle Shift makes driving a breeze - my attention is kept looking straight ahead and not having to think about the Manual Gearbox that was preferred by a lot of drivers in the previous E36/E46 Models.
Personally I think fast driving is better with Paddle Shift as it keeps focus where it is needed, and both hands remain on the Steering Wheel. In a low powered car, Renault Clio, Suzuki Swift, BMW E36 a Manual Gearbox is perfectly acceptable and a joy to use, but in this day and age the Automatic DSG/DCT/SMG type boxes make more sense to me. Not everybody has to agree - this is my opinion and I only care about my opinion (I'm joking..). The modifications are as follows..
• Semi-slick road-legal race tyres
• KW suspension
• Recaro Pole Position racing seats and OMP harnesses
• new ZF 8-speed sports auto transmission with sequential push/pull shifter
• Upgraded brakes using Motul fluid and Endless pads
• Excellent stability control
With these modifications it isn't surprising when we follow the new Ford Focus RS very closely, overtake M3's and other high powered cars on the Nordschleife!
These cars are so agile! Rent4Ring swapped the original Suspension for KW Clubsport 2 Way Coilovers. The ride is so good that I am comparing it to the feeling of the Porsche 997 Carrera S that I previously owned, and am putting it in the ranks of Porsche/Lamborghini in terms of handling capability.
The feeling as you tackle Hatzenbach and Fuchsröhre is a dream. I don't drive the 1er's as often as the R4R Swifts, but they are so special it makes every lap that I do all the more exciting!
The appearance of these cars may not impress everybody. It is a very simple 1 Series with a 2.0 Litre Petrol Turbo motor. Because of this it was never intended to be a great car for the Nürburgring Nordschleife - let alone a car that our valued customers are saying is better than the Six Cylinder BMW Cars that they privately own.
VX9 is my favourite looking R4R 1er, Folio (Wrapping) is done by Cover EFX and they seem to do a good job! I admire the others equally, as they are all modified the same but VX9 has the best Folio in my eyes.
Very, very responsive. For a standard engine these cars just perform! From the moment you touch the Gas Pedal the car just picks up speed - even on the Nordschleife you have to be careful, because if you lose yourself at high speeds it may end in tragedy! I have also Remapped one of the 1er's here, it has a Manual Gearbox, full Welded Cage and is going to be put up for sale soon.
My best advice to anybody would be to test drive this car either at Rent4Ring or at a BMW Dealership then you will see why I am so impressed with them. Also remember this has a lightweight motor so it is bound to feel responsive and accelerate very quickly. For me this car drives perfectly and I really enjoy the time I spend using the Throttle :P
The sound from the exhaust in this car has been described as ''quiet'', and on hearing this my face usually retorts as I think ''WTF are you jabbering on about?''. The exhaust does make a note, and the gear change with the Paddles is similar to my Golf GTi that I use for spirited Laps when I am not in the R4R Cars. The exhaust note isn't as loud as the Golf at high RPM's but it is definitely noticeable and I can hear the car when driving on the Noisy Nordschleife!
For me it is acceptable, but if somebody wanted a bit more noise from the exhaust then an Akrapovič would work perfectly and retain legitimacy with the original Catalytic Converter.
To end, this is one of the BEST cars I have ever driven and I have driven a lot of Sports Cars, Super Cars and Sports Hatchbacks that are shared on this website.
I aim to do a few more reviews on cars in Deutschland this year, and have a completely stock BMW 120i visiting from Frankfurt for me to test and see what I think of them in Standard Form. Previously I drove back from Stuttgart in one of the R4R 1er's and it was such a good drive! I even loved the standard seats but didn't have time to really test the car because it was snowing rather badly!
If you are visiting the area and want to test one of these cars please send me an email for availability and prices. I am doing a 'small' discount for customers who are renting the R4R Swift but would like to try the BMW for just one or two laps. I am so happy that I have been able to drive these cars both on the road and circuit - last weekend (VLN 4, 2018) was probably the best couple of laps I have done in these cars, but we don't bother filming or timing our laps because this place SHOULD only be about having fun! Competitive Driving should be kept for Track Days or organised Track Days where higher speeds are used and Safety Helmet is 100% required!
Have a great day and drive safe!
Nicholas Lawrence //ON CARS
email -> email@example.com