BMW M235i Coupe to make North American debut in 2014

Article by Christian A., on July 9, 2012

BMW will soon introduce the M235i coupe, the first in a line of M Performance models, in early 2014 to North America. It replaces the 1-series M coupe which ended its production after having produced over 6,000 units, of which, 600 were sold in the U.S. BMW has decided to rename the next generation coupe and convertible versions of the 1-series as the 2-series but the hatchback keeps the 1-series designation.

BMW hasn’t confirmed it yet but the M235i coupe is set to debut at the 2014 Detroit auto show. It is the sister model to the M135i hatchback that will start selling throughout Europe this September. The M235i coupe is based on the upcoming second-generation 2-series coupe that will debut at the 2013 Frankfurt motor show.

It will be powered by the 316-hp version of BMW's N55 turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine, the same one used on the M135i hatchback, says Autoweek. An insider from BMW M division told Autoweek that this engine was certified for U.S. sales. BMW's first M Performance model, with a standard six-speed manual gearbox, will be offered in the U.S. and will come with an optional seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

In addition, it gets standard rear-wheel drive and would likely be sold with optional four-wheel drive in certain states. However, the M235i coupe won't be the only BMW M Performance in the U.S. Set to arrive later in 2014 is the M235i convertible with a fabric roof, four seats and the same driveline. Since BMW announced the M Performance strategy earlier this year, the automaker added four models to its lineup in Europe. These are the 375-hp turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder diesel-powered M550d xDrive, the X5 M50d, the X6 M50d and the M135i hatchback.

To make sure that the outstanding power being put out by the engine is properly converted to dynamic performance that has both authority and excitement, BMW implemented a chassis technology that is specific to the new BMW M235i. For example, the damper systems and the spring have all been configured individually. Meanwhile the front axle shows elastokinematics. It goes without saying that this new offering from BMW is fitted with the M Sport braking system as standard. It also has variable sport steering ensuring that it shows its own personality.

In addition to the change in the suspension, the new model will also be fitted with the M Performance limited-slip differential. The goal of which is to increase the dynamic potential even further. Placed in the rear axle, what the mechanical differential system does is that under certain driving conditions, it optimizes the traction.

If the DSC stability system is deactivated, this limited-slip differential, being sensitive to torque, makes sure that the drive is divided between the wheels in the rear to reach the traction-maximizing effect. Since it is able to respond to the different torque present in the driven wheels, it uses low grip in order to lower the slip experienced by the wheel.

It makes this possible by transmitting any of the excess drive to the other wheel with a locking effect. Exclusive to the M235i Coupe are the M light-alloy 18-inch wheels fitted to which are the 225/40 R18 tires in the front and the 245/35 R18 for its rear. The tires offer high grip and were developed to make sure that the acceleration, as well as the braking forces, are channeled to the road in an optimum manner. BMW though is offering, under the Original BMW Accessories line-up, the BMW forged light-alloy M Performance 19-inch wheels.

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