BMW M235i Gets Exciting Review from MotorTrend

BMW M235i 6 photos
Photo: MotorTrend
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It’s not easy being the M235i or any other BMW these days, as a matter of fact. Everyone is out for blood, slamming the Bavarians for their cars that, for some people, are heavier than they should be.
What these people don’t understand is that all the optional features they can’t live without add up in the end, making their vehicles heavier than they’d expect. 16-speaker sound system? 16 heavy magnets to carry around. 20 airbags? Guess what? More weight to add on and this list could go on for ever.

That’s one of the issues some people have with the new M Performance Automobile too. They claim it’s too heavy, even though they didn’t even drive it, to see how the car actually handles that weight! Talking from the sidelines must be really rewarding for some people.

Carlos Lagos isn’t one of those people. He had the car all to himself for a couple of days and put it through the usual tests done over in the MotorTrend corner, coming up with some really impressive numbers.

Since there was a mad-crazy BMW 1M released before the M235i came to life and, to this day, that car is considered its predecessor, the comparisons between the two are inevitable, even though one car is a full-on M car and the other is just decked with 16 M badges.

The specs tell a closely similar story. The 1M is the only M car ever made that didn’t use and Motorsport engine. Instead, the Coupe used a retuned N54 unit with two turbochargers on it, making 340 HP and 500 Nm (369 lb-ft) of peak torque. The perfect 50:50 weight distribution, rear diff and manual gearbox made it (and still make it) one of the most fun cars out there today.

On the other hand, the M235i also uses a retuned version of the N55 engine, the successor of the N54. However, this one has only one turbocharger with twin-scroll technology and makes less power, rated at 326 HP and 450 Nm (332 lb-ft) of torque. Weight distribution isn’t perfect either and a limited slip differential is available only as an add-on option.

However, pricing strategies differ by a lot. The 1M had an M price tag, especially since it was built in limited numbers. The M235i starts below $45,000 and its production won’t be limited in any way. Looking at the numbers Carlos came up with, the difference between the two is minimal. Get the 2er with a manual gearbox and you’ll be enjoying the best sport coupe for the money in this segment.

Check out the complete numbers on MotorTrend
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