The M235i has been one of the most talked about and anticipated cars for the 2014 model year and is virtually the last to go on sale. We had seen photos and videos of these new cars but this week was the first chance to see them up close and personal. The good news is that they look even better in person than they did in photos.
Other than the M3 and M4, the M235i stood out the most at BMW's display at the North American International Auto Show. The M235i is the first M Performance Automobile to come to the United States and is packed with an engine outputting 320 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque – all while being packed into a car the size of an E46 3 Series. Performance is pegged at 4.8 seconds from 0-60 with the 8-speed automatic transmission or 4.9 seconds with the 6-speed manual.
If you are a fan of a more compact and sporty car, this very well may be your choice when it comes time to buy a new BMW. In person, the car looks like it is going to be incredibly fun to drive and BMW has gone out of their way to make sure the M235i can stay gripped to the roads including the choice to make non-run flat Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires the standard tire. No spare tire is included but you will be outfitted with an M mobility kit that should help you in all but the most extreme situations. The choice to outfit the car with these tires is just one more sign that BMW is serious about this being a car that is meant to be driven hard.
One of the concerns I had when pictures first surfaced was the trunk lid and tail light design but I have to say that it looks much better in person than I expected. It certainly is not a deal breaker by any means. If there was one piece that stuck out to me as being out of place it was the color choice for the mirrors. They just seemed out of place in the whole scheme of the car. Other than that, the car is a stunner in person and a vast improvement in design from the previous 1 series.
Just in case the M235i is not your preferred 2 Series model, BMW had a 228i equipped with the Sport Line on display as well. Once again, this was a good looking car in person. The 228i is powered by a 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo motor that produces a very respectable 240 horsepower and 255 lb-ft of torque. The combination of power and size of the car should make this a ton of fun to drive around town considering the heavier 428i (by roughly 170lbs) gives more than enough power to keep a smile on your face.
As with all cars that we see at auto shows for the first time, we reserve final judgment for when we get a chance to get behind the wheel and take the cars on some proper twisty roads. Given that cars are in production and customers are awaiting shipments, it won't be long until we get some firsthand reports.
Stay tuned to Bimmerfest.com in the coming weeks for initial reports.
More pictures of the M235i at the Detroit Auto Show
Read more about the BMW 2 Series coupe
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