Don’t be fooled. That headline doesn’t mean more BMW M models are headed our way, just that more M performance cars will arrive on our shores in the next couple of years.
You’re not alone. Cars like the BMW M3 and M5 have defined a generation of performance and have notched their share of racing successes. But more of that isn’t what’s in store. So what is? Cars with names like the M235i.
Keep reading to find out what that means.
First of all, for those who don’t recognize the 2 Series name, BMW is making the coupe and convertible models of the 1 Series into the 2 Series (the hatchback will retain its 1 Series brand). The M235i coupe is set to become the successor to the 1 Series M Coupe, which quickly sold out its run of 600 cars in the United States.
Autoweek reports that the M235i coupe will get a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder rated at 316 horsepower, mated to a 6-speed manual or 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox. Rear-wheel drive will be standard, but all-wheel drive may be an option. The automaker may add an M235i convertible later with the same powertrain.
This news comes on the heels of the announcement of the Lime Rock Edition M3 Coupe, a car outfitted by Lime Rock track owner Skip Barber. With only 200 being built at a price of 70 grand a pop, the car should be something special, right? Some might think so, but there are others who seem to believe BMW has sold the soul of the M brand. Here’s a quote that sums up that argument from Jalopnik,
The company that claims more 24-Hour wins at the Nürburgring than any other manufacturer just launched a track edition M3 that offers no serious performance improvement over the current M3.
That quote leads into a tirade of mostly justifiable jabs at BMW and the death of the once-glorious M brand.
Being a marketing guy, though, I see what BMW wants to do here. Since its M line has become such a legend, why not leverage some of that with special editions and some extra performance in lower-level BMW cars? I like it because it makes the M experience attainable, while still being separate from the superior M3 and M5.
Would you consider a BMW M235i, or should the M name be reserved for the M3 and M5?