In terms of having a cohesive model family, the addition of the M240i makes sense. BMW has already replaced the 335i with the 340i, and a 440i and X4 M40i are on the horizon. These are larger cars however, ones that I’m the first to admit will be more enjoyable with extra power on tap.
The M235i however is not a large car, and there has not been a single situation I’ve been in where I thought, “Gee, I wish I had another 15 horsepower!” The car can hang with vehicles way above its price point, and far outside of its segment, but that’s just not enough for BMW.
BMW needs the car to stay fresh and relevant, and with all the buzz currently surrounding the M2, I can see how the company would feel the need to do something to once again get people riled up about the middle tier 2′er. Although the extra 15 horsepower isn’t a huge deal, the extra 39 lb-ft of torque certainly is, as that brings the M240i’s twist figure to 369 lb-ft.
My manual transmission M235i weighs in at 3,505 pounds, which doesn’t make it crazy light, but let me tell ya, it wears its weight well. Corner entry, and exit are superb, the car feels like it is doing exactly what you want it to, when you want it to.
Like I said before, I’m addicted to power, and all that torque available from 1,520 rpm to 4,500 rpm sounds like a good time, in theory. My concern is that changing up the recipe even just a little bit, will upset the perfect balance BMW seems to have already arrived at. More power without any changes to the suspension, or addition of a limited slip diff as standard equipment, seems like an ill-informed decision to me.
I’m sure BMW knows what they’re doing, but I’m going to remain highly skeptical of the M240i until I drive it, at which point I will probably start looking into how I can trade my M235i in for one.
Photo Credit: VisualVocab