Only the letter M is missing
BMW’s current 3 Series has been, without a doubt, the greatest, most critically-acclaimed car in their history. You don’t mess with success, so the next-generation model, which should at least appear in sedan form as a 2012, will have to be damn good.
Meanwhile, BMW keeps cranking out various iterations of the 3 Series, and this year, we get the 335is Coupé and Cabriolet. What’s the difference, you ask? Note the extra ‘s’ in the name. That means you get extra performance, something that wasn’t really missing in the 3 Series to begin with.
Just to clear things up, the twin-turbo 3.0-litre inline-6, the one that developed 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque last year, has been replaced by a single-turbo version in the 335i; peak output numbers are unchanged. Engine code name: N55.
The 335is, however, retains the twin-turbo version, bumped to 320 horses and 332 pound-feet. Engine code name: N54. Get it?
You can also get an optional 7-speed, dual-clutch automated transmission that’s offered in the M3, but not in lesser versions of the 3 Series. As for the rest of the mechanical components, this car shares the same 6-speed manual, suspension, steering, brakes and tires than the 335i. So basically, the 335is is the closest you can get to an M3, but without buying an M3.
Exclusivities on the outside of this particular 3 Series include a sport exhaust system with black chrome tailpipes, glossy black mirror housings, a glossy black front grille, an M body kit with rear bumper diffuser (body-colour this time) and unique 18-inch alloy wheels.
With more power on tap and the rapid-fire gearbox, the 335is blasts to 100 km/h in 5.2 seconds and through the quarter-mile in 13.4 seconds at 171 km/h. That’s fast; the M3 is only a few ticks quicker, as it’s only a few pounds heavier but benefits from 94 more ponies.
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