Manual BMW M235i Reviewed by Autocar

Manual BMW M235i 5 photos
Photo: Autocar
BMW M235iBMW M235iBMW M235iBMW M235i
Up until now, the youngest Coupe kid on the block was reviewed by various people only in Las Vegas, at the special event held by BMW. Another common trait of all the previous test drives was the 8-speed automatic transmission, a brilliant way to travel but not nearly as exciting as a good ol’ fashioned 6-speed manual.
The guys from Autocar had the privilege to test that exact configuration just a while back and they were drastically impressed. And who wouldn’t be impressed?

After BMW heavily marketed the car as the return of the 2002 principles to their brand, everyone had big expectancies from the M235i. The key words here are: light, powerful, fast, nimble. Writing a review for this car couldn’t possibly be written without including those adjectives.

The engine under the bonnet is an M-tuned 3-liter N55 unit that was taken up to 322 HP and 450 Nm (332 lb-ft) of torque, an already successful recipe that is found in different variations throughout the entire BMW line-up. Hooked to the manual gearbox, the car is a tad slower (by just 0.2 seconds), less efficient and emits more CO2 but it makes up in driving experience.

The comparison to the full-on 1M Coupe is something that will cross your mind if you ever get behind the wheel of this beast. The perfect way to describe it would be saying that it’s the perfect mix between the versatility of the M135i hatch and the craziness of the 1M. It’s that good!

Don’t be fooled, everything else on the car is exactly the same as on the automatic, including suspension settings, the chassis set-up, the responsiveness and the tires but yet, the control you get is simply amazing. Nobody thought that getting a manual gearbox could change the car so much.

To go even further, the experience could actually be called ‘physical’ as controlling this Coupe is quite hard to do and will leave you sweating, especially at high speeds. You don’t have to worry though, there’s plenty of grip, even at the highest speeds and in the tightest corners.

In the end, the car made it to the must buy list, right up there with the Porsche Cayman, as we professed a while back, when we caught wind of the pricing strategy BMW was going to enforce.

Full story at Autocar.
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