2012 BMW 335is Coupe Review
- 6 Cylinder
- 6 Cylinder Turbo
- 6 Cylinder Twin Turbo
To fill the gap in the 3-series lineup between the 300-hp 335i and 414-hp M3, BMW is introducing the 2011 335is coupe and convertible. We were unaware that said gap needed to be filled, but we’re told that the 335i is seen in the U.S. as just an ordinary 3-series, and as such, there’s room for something more exotic than a 335i but less outlandish than an M3. Now that we’ve been given the chance to drive the 335is coupe, we’re coming around to accepting this whole gap idea
Conceptually similar to the 330i Performance package model that was available as part of the previous-generation 3-series lineup, the 335is doesn’t go so far as to threaten the M3’s supremacy, but it definitely ups the sportiness quotient. To that end, the 335is gets 320 hp and 332 lb-ft torque from the twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline-six engine, and an overboost function allows for seven-second blasts of 370 lb-ft of torque. Unlike the regular-grade 2011 335i, the 335is sticks with the older twin-turbo engine for the simple reason that BMW engineers had more experience tuning it. This same engine can also be found in the Z4 sDrive35is that was introduced at this month’s Detroit auto show. In the Z4, the engine makes 335 hp; a more restrictive intake on the 3-series accounts for the 15-hp difference.
To make the 335is a track-worthy vehicle, BMW upgrades the cooling system with an additional radiator and beefs up the engine mounts. Inside are standard sport seats, steel pedals, an M Sport steering wheel, and textured aluminum trim. Between the seats sits the familiar six-speed manual, but it’s modified here to have shorter throws. For those who prefer not to shift for themselves, BMW is offering its seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. The DCT system is identical to the one in the M3 and comes with steering-wheel-mounted paddle-type shifters.