BMW – Automobile http://www.automobilemag.com No Boring Cars - Automotive Magazine Thu, 28 Jul 2016 10:01:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.5.3 BMW M5 Competition Edition Is a Delicious Piece of Forbidden Fruit http://www.automobilemag.com/news/bmw-m5-competition-edition-delicious-piece-forbidden-fruit/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/bmw-m5-competition-edition-delicious-piece-forbidden-fruit/#respond Fri, 22 Jul 2016 18:45:59 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=970353 It may not be quite as exclusive as the M5 Pure Metal Silver Edition, but the BMW M5 Competition Edition offers a similar set of thoughtful updates. Unfortunately, it won’t be available in the U.S. BMW is selling 200 copies of its M5 Competition Edition for the European market. The model features a familiar 4.4-liter...

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It may not be quite as exclusive as the M5 Pure Metal Silver Edition, but the BMW M5 Competition Edition offers a similar set of thoughtful updates. Unfortunately, it won’t be available in the U.S.

BMW is selling 200 copies of its M5 Competition Edition for the European market. The model features a familiar 4.4-liter V-8 tuned to produce 600 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. That’s up from the 560 hp and 500 lb-ft offered on the standard M5. BMW claims its Competition Edition can sprint to 62 mph in 3.9 seconds. The Competition Package comes standard on this model, adding a beefier suspension, revised steering system, and other performance upgrades.

Unique badges and paint colors distinguish the Competition Edition from the rest of the M5 lineup. Half the models will feature a Carbon Black metallic paint job, and the other half will bear a Mineral White metallic exterior. Twenty-inch double-spoke M wheels in a Jet Black finish pair well with the high gloss black kidney grilles and black side inlets. The rear diffuser and mirror caps are dressed in carbon.

BMW M5 Competition Edition rear three quarter

Inside the cabin, look for Merino Black leather and specially embroidered headrests on the seats. The model also boasts a Bang & Olufsen surround sound system, head-up display, lane departure warning, and heated seats.

The BMW M5 Competition Edition is priced at 129,500 euros, or a little over $142,000 at today’s exchange rates.

BMW M5 Competition Edition interior 1 BMW M5 Competition Edition exterior vents 1 BMW M5 Competition Edition carbon fiber dashboard 1 BMW M5 Competition Edition interior headrest 1

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BMW to Sell V-8s to Jaguar Land Rover http://www.automobilemag.com/news/bmw-sell-v-8s-jaguar-land-rover/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/bmw-sell-v-8s-jaguar-land-rover/#respond Fri, 22 Jul 2016 14:32:21 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=970107 I-4 is the new V-6. As emissions and fuel consumption standards tighten, automakers have been downsizing engines across the board. While the 3.0-liter V-6 had been the baseline engine for premium automakers for years, that role belongs to the 2.0-liter inline four. That means the V-8 is fast becoming a specialty engine. V-8s used to...

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I-4 is the new V-6. As emissions and fuel consumption standards tighten, automakers have been downsizing engines across the board. While the 3.0-liter V-6 had been the baseline engine for premium automakers for years, that role belongs to the 2.0-liter inline four. That means the V-8 is fast becoming a specialty engine.

V-8s used to be relatively cost effective to produce, as they shared key pieces of hardware with V-6 engines. Now, as automakers look to apply that strategy to I-4s – upsizing the basic architecture to produce 3.0-liter I-6 engines and downsizing it to produce 1.5-liter I-3s – a new V-8 is now not only a tougher proposition from a regulatory perspective, but also more expensive to design and make.

2016 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Td6 front three quarter in motion 20

This backdrop explains a deal being hammered out between BMW and Jaguar Land Rover whereby the Bavarians will supply an upgraded version of its twin-turbo V-8 to the Brits for use in high-end Jaguar and Land Rover models. The current 4.4-liter BMW V-8 develops between 450 and 600 hp, depending on spec. A leaner, stronger, and torquier 4.0-liter variant is in the works, and it’s this engine that’s likely to appear in JLR vehicles.

At first glance, the deal would seem to favor JLR, which is developing I-6 and I-3 engines off the Ingenium I-4 architecture, and will ultimately need a new V-8 for its SVR Jaguars and Land Rovers. But decreasing demand and increasing costs means BMW has reached a point where it needs the added volume from a second player to make the business case for the V-8.

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2016 BMW M5 Pure Metal Silver Edition Limited to Just 50 Units http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2016-bmw-m5-pure-metal-silver-edition-limited-just-50-units/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2016-bmw-m5-pure-metal-silver-edition-limited-just-50-units/#respond Thu, 21 Jul 2016 22:01:14 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=970091 BMW is at it again with its uniquely colored special-edition models. The latest iteration is the 2016 BMW M5 Pure Metal Silver Limited Edition, which will be limited to just 50 units in the U.S. Like the name suggests, the special M5 receives an exclusive Pure Metal Silver paint job, but also gets a power...

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BMW is at it again with its uniquely colored special-edition models. The latest iteration is the 2016 BMW M5 Pure Metal Silver Limited Edition, which will be limited to just 50 units in the U.S. Like the name suggests, the special M5 receives an exclusive Pure Metal Silver paint job, but also gets a power boost and additional content.

BMW says the Pure Metal Silver finish is the most exclusive paint color offered by BMW Individual. A unique layering process is used to create a light/dark effect, with hundreds of thousands of “ultra-thin” aluminum flakes glimmering in a special-effect pigment and water-based paint system. BMW says the limited-edition cars are “completely removed from the regular production process” so the surface can be checked three times to ensure perfection before the paint is applied by hand. A Glacier Silver Metal base coat is applied first, then the surface is checked again and sprayed with the namesake Pure Metal Silver.

2016 BMW M5 Pure Metal Silver Limited Edition wheels

But the special model isn’t all show and no extra go. The 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8 has been massaged to produce 591 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque, an increase of 31 hp and 16 lb-ft over the standard M5. The engine is mated exclusively to a seven-speed M dual-clutch transmission. The M5 Pure Metal Silver Limited Edition also comes standard with the Competition Package, which includes a 0.4-inch lower ride height, stiffer suspension, and firmer stabilizer bars. Also standard are M carbon ceramic brakes and the M Driver’s Package, which raises the top speed from 155 mph to 190 mph and includes a one-day performance driving school at one of two BMW Performance Centers. The special M5 rides on a staggered set of unique 20-inch M Light forged alloy wheels wrapped in 265/35 front and 295/30 rear performance tires. The M Dynamic Mode of the stability control system is also uniquely tuned for the M5 Pure Metal Silver Limited Edition to match the other performance upgrades.

2016 BMW M5 Pure Metal Silver Limited Edition rear three quarter

Additional enhancements to the exterior include an M Performance Exhaust with carbon bezels and blacked out kidney grilles. The interior is upholstered in Merino leather with contrast stitching, and it also gets aluminum trim to complement the Pure Metal Silver M5 1/50 badge. A head-up display, navigation, BMW Driving Assistant, and hands-free keyless access come standard. The 2016 BMW M5 Pure Metal Silver Limited Edition will start at $131,895 when it arrives this August, but you’d better hurry if you want one as quantities are limited.

2016 BMW M5 Pure Metal Silver Limited Edition side profile

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BMW Considering Pickup Truck to Compete With Mercedes-Benz GLT: Report http://www.automobilemag.com/news/bmw-considering-pickup-truck-compete-mercedes-benz-glt/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/bmw-considering-pickup-truck-compete-mercedes-benz-glt/#respond Thu, 21 Jul 2016 18:05:34 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=970015 If you are one of those strange, spoiled individuals who just isn’t content with the level of luxury offered by the top-spec American pickup trucks, BMW might soon have the perfect truck for you. According to a report from Motoring, BMW is mulling over a Roundel-badged truck to compete with the upcoming Mercedes-Benz GLT. Motoring...

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If you are one of those strange, spoiled individuals who just isn’t content with the level of luxury offered by the top-spec American pickup trucks, BMW might soon have the perfect truck for you. According to a report from Motoring, BMW is mulling over a Roundel-badged truck to compete with the upcoming Mercedes-Benz GLT.

Motoring spoke with BMW Australia’s Managing Director Marc Werner, who reportedly didn’t shy away from the idea. “Never say never,” Werner told Motoring. “We’re watching the space closely.” The imminent Mercedes-Benz GLT has many manufacturers questioning the truck segment, as the GLT will be the first of its kind.

Mercedes Benz Pickup Truck prototype spied front three quarter5
A Mercedes-Benz GLT mule caught testing

Werner did admit Mercedes will have an easier time developing the GLT than BMW would, if it decided to build its own pickup. “It’s easier for Mercedes because they have commercial vehicles, and we do not,” Werner said.

Of course, Mercedes isn’t tackling the truck market on its own. It found a helping hand in Nissan, who provided the bones of its D23 Navara truck. Motoring points out that BMW, which already has a working relationship with Toyota, might be able to squeeze its Roundel onto the hood of a Toyota Hilux (or even Tacoma). Better yet, BMW could pop into the segment with a mini-truck along the lines of the upcoming Hyundai Santa Cruz.

Regardless, don’t expect one to make landfall on our shores anytime soon. Like the Mercedes, this would likely be a truck meant for overseas markets.

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2016 BMW M4 Competition Package Review http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2016-bmw-m4-competition-package-one-week-review/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2016-bmw-m4-competition-package-one-week-review/#respond Thu, 21 Jul 2016 10:00:06 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=969001 SALINAS, California — To say the 2016 BMW M4 isn’t a driver’s car is amateurish, overzealous, and flat-out incorrect. Maybe it’s not the hard-edged sports coupe its predecessors were, but that’s OK; the M4’s place in the automotive world made a lot more sense once the sheets were pulled back on the smaller, pricklier M2. The M2’s...

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SALINAS, California — To say the 2016 BMW M4 isn’t a driver’s car is amateurish, overzealous, and flat-out incorrect. Maybe it’s not the hard-edged sports coupe its predecessors were, but that’s OK; the M4’s place in the automotive world made a lot more sense once the sheets were pulled back on the smaller, pricklier M2. The M2’s very existence helps us stomach the M4’s softer character, immerse ourselves in its utter refinement, and fully enjoy its sensationally smooth and overwhelming power. And yet a quiet, boyish energy in our gut still wants the M4 to be more hoarse, more exotic.

The all-new, optional competition package helps. $5,500 on the M4 coupe or its sedan brother, or $5,000 on the M4 convertible, the competition package adds M-tuned adaptive suspension—usually a grand as a standalone option—as well titanium exhaust tips finished in black chrome that typically cost an extra $1,060. The black motif extends to the kidney grille, side gills, and tail badge. BMW finishes the exterior with lightweight, 20-inch forged aluminum wheels that have the same star-spoke design as the wheels on the M4 GTS. Inside, the automaker adds a pair of gorgeous sports seats with hollow centers in their backrests. The seats aren’t part of the M4 convertible’s competition package, which is why it’s $500 less than the coupe’s.

2016 BMW M4 competition package engine 02

Now what would a competition package be if BMW didn’t add a bit of power? A 19-hp bump over stock bring the M4s to a total 444 hp, and BMW claims the improved power shaves a tenth of a second off the M4’s zero-to-60 mph time, regardless of transmission. That means this model, with the 6-speed manual, should hit 60 mph in four seconds flat, 0.2-second slower than an M4 with the competition package and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Unfortunately, carbon-ceramic brakes aren’t part of this package but since BMW typically robs you of $8,150 for those, we understand why.

Is there a perceivable performance change in an M4 with the competition package? Perhaps there is on a track but on the northern California’s windy roads, we didn’t notice any discernible difference in performance. However, we did enjoy ourselves more than we previously had in the M4 for two reasons. One, the exhaust; the titanium tips amplify the awesome sounds coming from the car’s charming twin-turbo engine and help create a more engaging driver experience. And two, because of how people interacted with the Yas Marina Blue M4. The burbling exhaust, snowflake wheels, murdered-out trim, and carved-out seats are all subtle touches that seduced each and every person who spent time in or around the car.

Is the 2016 BMW M4’s competition package worth $5,500? Sure—it’s an appropriately priced package that draws a bit more attitude out of a performance car with talents that are often underappreciated. To really sell us on the package, though, we need to find time to take this M4 to a track to see if the M4’s improvements are as successful as the superficial ones.

2016 BMW M4 competition package side profile

2016 BMW M4 Competition Package Specifications

On Sale: Now
Price: $66,695/$87,095 (base/as-tested)
Engine: 3.0L twin-turbocharged DOHC 24-valve I-6/444 hp @ 5,500-7,300 rpm, 406 lb-ft @ 1,850-5,550 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Layout: 2-door, 4-passenger, front-engine, RWD coupe
EPA Mileage: 17/26 mpg (city/highway)
L x W x H: 183.9 x 73.6 x 54.4 in
Wheelbase: 110.7 in
Weight: 3,530 lb
0-60 MPH: 4.0 sec
Top Speed: 156 mph
2016 BMW M4 competition package front three quarter 02 2016 BMW M4 competition package wheels 02 2016 BMW M4 competition package badge 2016 BMW M4 competition package wheels 2016 BMW M4 competition package engine 2016 BMW M4 competition package tailpipe 2016 BMW M4 competition package instrument cluster 2016 BMW M4 competition package gear shifter 2016 BMW M4 competition package interior seat badge 2016 BMW M4 competition package interior seats 2016 BMW M4 competition package interior steering wheel stitching BMW M4 Competition Package front three quarters BMW M4 Competition Package rear three quarters BMW M4 Competition Package wheel BMW M4 Competition Package interior BMW M4 Competition Package front seats

 

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2017 BMW 1 Series Sedan Revealed for Chinese Market http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2017-bmw-1-series-sedan-revealed-chinese-market/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2017-bmw-1-series-sedan-revealed-chinese-market/#respond Mon, 18 Jul 2016 17:50:15 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=968457 BMW has revealed the latest front-drive-based vehicle in its lineup, the China-only 1 Series sedan, which was first previewed by the Compact Sedan Concept that was unveiled at the 2015 Guangzhou auto show. Development for the 1 Series sedan took place in China and was calibrated with the driving habits of Chinese customers in mind....

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BMW has revealed the latest front-drive-based vehicle in its lineup, the China-only 1 Series sedan, which was first previewed by the Compact Sedan Concept that was unveiled at the 2015 Guangzhou auto show. Development for the 1 Series sedan took place in China and was calibrated with the driving habits of Chinese customers in mind. In addition to the X1 and 2 Series Active Tourer, the 1 Series sedan will be the latest addition to BMW’s entry-level lineup in China, where it hopes to capture a larger chunk of the entry-level premium compact class.

While specs haven’t been released yet, it’s likely that the 2017 BMW 1 Series will feature the same engine choices as the X1 and 2 Series Active Tourer, which includes a 2.0-liter turbo-four paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The brand’s ConnectedDrive suite of multimedia technologies, which includes the iDrive interface, should be available throughout the range along with a full range of active safety features. Like the X1, the 1 Series sedan should ride on the front-drive-based UKL platform that’s also used by Mini.

The BMW 1 Series will be one of a number of models that BMW will produce in China for the domestic market there alongside long-wheelbase variants of the 3 Series and 5 Series. BMW’s Chinese partner, Brilliance Automotive, with which it has formed a joint venture called BMW Brilliance Automotive, will be responsible for marketing and selling the 1 Series Sedan. Engines for the 1 Series will be made at BMW’s manufacturing facility in Shenyang, China.

It’s still unclear if BMW will do anything with the 1 Series name outside of China, but going forward it looks like front-wheel drive is the future. Get your rear-wheel-drive 2 Series while you can.

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Video Shows You Can Catch Pokemon on the Nurburgring http://www.automobilemag.com/news/video-shows-can-catch-pokemon-nurburgring/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/video-shows-can-catch-pokemon-nurburgring/#respond Fri, 15 Jul 2016 20:57:23 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=968271 It was only a matter of time before Pokemon Go entered the gearhead sphere, and now the mobile game phenomenon has breached one of the most famous race tracks in the world, Germany’s challenging Nürburgring. In this video, Russian YouTube user Boosted Boris takes a BMW M3 Ring Taxi and goes around the track to...

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It was only a matter of time before Pokemon Go entered the gearhead sphere, and now the mobile game phenomenon has breached one of the most famous race tracks in the world, Germany’s challenging Nürburgring. In this video, Russian YouTube user Boosted Boris takes a BMW M3 Ring Taxi and goes around the track to play Pokemon Go and catch different kinds of Pokemon on what looks to be a leisurely drive around the race track.

How did he do? Pokemon trainers will be pleased to know that the Green Hell is home to such virtual creatures as Pidgeys, Zubats, Spearows, a Krabby, an Abra, and a Weedle. Sure, Boosted Boris didn’t get many of the rarer Pokemon, but he was able to catch quite a few from the passenger seat.

Compared to other video games, Pokemon Go forces players to go out in the real world to look for Pokemon instead of sitting at home in front of a screen. The augmented reality game has exploded in popularity since it was released last week. With that, you can expect that Boosted Boris’ Nürburgring Pokemon adventure won’t be the last automotive story we hear involving digital creatures.

Check out the video below.

 

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http://www.automobilemag.com/news/video-shows-can-catch-pokemon-nurburgring/feed/ 0 Video Shows You Can Catch Pokemon on the Nurburgring - Automobile It was only a matter of time before Pokemon Go entered the gearhead sphere, and now the mobile game phenomenon has breached one of the most famous race tracks in the world, Germany’s challenging Nürburgring. In this video, Russian YouTube user Boosted Boris takes a BMW M3 Ring Taxi and goes around t pokemon
BMW Z4 to Finish Production in August http://www.automobilemag.com/news/bmw-z4-finish-production-august/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/bmw-z4-finish-production-august/#respond Thu, 14 Jul 2016 14:51:50 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=967335 Marking the end of its second generation, the BMW Z4 will halt production next month, a spokesperson for BMW confirms. BMWblog first reported that the luxury roadster would close up shop after a seven-year run. The current, E89 Z4 was introduced first for the 2009 model year with a standard power-retractable hardtop as well as...

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Marking the end of its second generation, the BMW Z4 will halt production next month, a spokesperson for BMW confirms. BMWblog first reported that the luxury roadster would close up shop after a seven-year run.

The current, E89 Z4 was introduced first for the 2009 model year with a standard power-retractable hardtop as well as sleeker and more elegant styling than the original, duck-butted Z4.

The E89 BMW Z4, arriving smack in the heart of the recession, was introduced at a tough time for any automaker to be selling a frivolous two-seat roadster. On top of that, the second-gen Z4 took a much more luxurious and grand-touring type approach than its predecessor Z4 and the earlier BMW Z3, leading to a sticker price few were willing to entertain.

2011 BMW z4 sDrive35is right side view1

Sales of the first Z4 crested 20,000 in 2003, while the E89 Z4 peaked in 2010 with a lowly 3,804 units moved. Contemporary competitors like the Audi TT and Mercedes-Benz SLK fared similarly, given the economic constraints of the market.

The timing makes sense. At the moment Z4 sales are truly in the gutter, totaling a paltry 1,829 units last year. All the while BMW has been testing camouflaged prototypes of a successor, widely rumored to be dubbed the Z5, as part of a joint partnership with Toyota. The Supra will ostensibly be the Japanese fruit to bear, albeit with a fixed hard top, while the Z5 will revert to a convertible soft-top in an effort to get back to its light and nimble sports-car roots.

Rumors are that under the hood will be a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo in various states of tune, but expect no less than 240-odd hp for the U.S. base model. Transmission choices include a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic, and don’t rule out a larger inline-six engine option down the pipeline, especially for a high-powered M or M Sport model. Look for the Z4’s successor in late 2017, as a 2018 model.

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Next-Generation BMW 3 Series to Debut All-Electric Powertrain http://www.automobilemag.com/news/next-generation-bmw-3-series-debut-electric-powertrain/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/next-generation-bmw-3-series-debut-electric-powertrain/#respond Wed, 13 Jul 2016 18:05:20 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=966985 The Tesla Model 3 will undoubtedly face major competition from the German brands including BMW, which is reportedly preparing an all-electric version of its next-generation 3 Series. The upcoming 3 Series is expected to be a major upgrade from the current model, which only offers a plug-in hybrid version. However, the next 3 Series will...

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The Tesla Model 3 will undoubtedly face major competition from the German brands including BMW, which is reportedly preparing an all-electric version of its next-generation 3 Series.

The upcoming 3 Series is expected to be a major upgrade from the current model, which only offers a plug-in hybrid version. However, the next 3 Series will ride on BMW’s new Cluster Architecture (CLAR) that was developed for electrification from the get-go.

According to Auto Express, the all-electric BMW 3 Series could feature a battery pack rated at 90 kilowatt-hours, enough to provide around 300 miles of range. Preliminary specs for the Tesla Model 3 say it will go 215 miles per charge, though that could change before the car is expected to debut late next year.

Meanwhile, the next-generation BMW 3 Series is rumored to debut in 18 months, though it will initially launch the gas, diesel, and hybrid versions first. The report suggests the all-electric 3 Series would arrive in 2020 at the earliest.

The CLAR platform was first used on BMW’s flagship 7 Series. CLAR features advanced materials including carbon fiber, which should cut a significant chunk from the 3’s curb weight. As previously reported, the 3 Series is expected to be larger, though BMW is focused on improving handling as well.

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We Drive Dinan’s 445-hp S3 BMW M235i http://www.automobilemag.com/news/drive-dinans-445-hp-s3-bmw-m235i/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/drive-dinans-445-hp-s3-bmw-m235i/#respond Mon, 04 Jul 2016 18:08:21 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=962991 LOS ANGELES — Timing can be everything—or in the case of the Dinan S3 BMW M235i, a fortuitous opportunity for a boutique tuner to beat a big manufacturer to the punch. Case in point: Though a successor to the late, great 1M Coupe seemed like a logical next step for BMW, the M235i remained the...

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LOS ANGELES — Timing can be everything—or in the case of the Dinan S3 BMW M235i, a fortuitous opportunity for a boutique tuner to beat a big manufacturer to the punch. Case in point: Though a successor to the late, great 1M Coupe seemed like a logical next step for BMW, the M235i remained the top dog 2 Series until the new M2 showed up. Well before the Bimmer peeps released their hot-rodded M2 into the wild, the folks at Morgan Hill, California-based Dinan pulled together a series of à la carte upgrades to the M235i, prefacing the factory-sanctioned ride by eight months.

Want to go indie with Dinan’s S3? You can put up to $8,071 toward engine alterations that include a carbon-fiber cold air intake ($599), twin-core intercooler ($925), enlarged turbo ($1,499), free-flow stainless steel exhaust ($1,799), and Stage 4 Performance Tuner hardware ($3,249). In full spec, the hardware boosts the M235i’s output from 320 horsepower to 445 and from 330 lb-ft to 455 lb-ft. Suspension work is lighter on the checkbook: Budget $129 for bumpstops, $299 for high-performance springs, $499 for a lower control-arm monoball kit that replaces rubber bushings with ball joints and machined aluminum housings, and $799 per set of tubular sway bars. Figure $12,227 for all the go-fast bits, including 19-inch BBS wheels and miscellany such as floormats and aluminum pedals.

Raw yaw

Pushing 80 more horses and 112 additional lb-ft than the factory M2, Dinan’s steed feels gutsy, punchy, and single-mindedly quick when you pin the floor-mounted accelerator. You wouldn’t guess it by the staid interior—our tester started life as a lightly optioned M235i (which starts at $43,100), trimmed in especially dark, Spartan finishings compared to the sportily accented (but still restrained) M2. However, beneath the undomed hood lies a surly rogue of a powerplant. Dinan’s upgraded 3.0-liter inline-six has an effortless air about it when puttering around town, producing robust torque throughout the powerband. But dip into the revs and the tail squats when summoned, squishing the rear Michelin Pilot Super Sports as it freight-trains ahead. When coaxed under more permissive traction control settings, the surge of acceleration squats and yaws the rear out slightly, a deliciously unpolished sensation you’d be hard pressed to experience in an off-the-rack BMW. That subtle edge of ferocity feels like the BMW’s donor car has been injected with steroids: the power is smooth and linear, and the factory-sanctioned torque curve is amped up evenly across the rev range. Unlike the M2, Dinan’s setup is mated to an automatic eight-speed ZF gearbox; the M2 gets the dual-clutch seven-speed.

On smooth pavement the Dinan S3 responds sharply, corners flat, and pulls loads of grip from the Michelins. But when the going gets bumpy, the S3 feels competent but not quite as adaptable as the stock BMW. It seems the jostling is due to the revised spring setup, which drops the front end by a half-inch and the rear by an inch and creates a noticeably lower stance and center of gravity. Our tester came equipped with electronic shocks that facilitated immediate, no-fuss direction changes on well-paved surfaces. But bumpier roads led to a bit of fore/aft bobbing that became more controlled in the stiffer Sport + setting; in the more aggressive mode, the M235i behaved more naturally, producing a firmer ride but sticking more tenaciously to Earth. The likeliest cause of the discrepancy is the retention of the factory shocks, a fact we later confirmed with Dinan technical director Casper van der Schoot, who says the stiffness of the springs is limited by the shocks.

Another curiosity inherited from the donor car is the variable-rate steering setup, which feels a tad dead on-center; van der Schoot says that though Dinan’s camber plate and sway bar work to counteract BMW’s natural tendency for understeer, Dinan’s inability to change steering assist levels left the out-of-the-box steering settings unchanged. Regardless, the S3 offers gratifying handling in Sport + mode, though we suspect that fine-tuning the shocks would have made the S3 a better all-rounder for real-world road conditions.

Final analysis: Market or aftermarket?

The argument for going aftermarket can sway either way. On one hand, Dinan’s products offer exceptional peace of mind for a non-factory offering. Dinan matches BMW’s four-year/50,000-mile warranty, its cars are smog-approved for all 50 states, and they boast American engineering on a foundation with years of development work. But a factory M badge will also, inarguably, yield greater resale value than an aftermarket solution while delivering more cohesive vehicle dynamics. However, the Dinan, which starts as a $44,150 M235i, can be selectively equipped and fall short of the M2’s $52,695 sticker while producing more power. (For the record, our fully decked-out Dinan tester rang in at $58,077; your damage may vary.) Again, the issue of timing takes center stage: Though the S3 was a nifty stopgap until the M2 came along, the M2, though less powerful, begs the question of whether it makes more sense to hunt down a lightly used M235i to soup up or spring for the factory-sorted hot rod.

Dinan, in keeping with its mission to continue transmogrifying the latest, greatest machines from Munich, is already working on an über M2 that, according to van der Schoot, will approach M3 or M4 dynamics. “We have high hopes,” he says, hinting that the new package could feature a full coilover setup with electronic shocks that delivers a more extreme alternative to the stock M2— to which we say, vive la différence.

2014 Dinan S3 BMW M235i side profile

2014 Dinan S3 BMW M235i Specifications

On Sale: Now
Price: $58,077 (as tested)
Engine: 3.0L turbo DOHC 24-valve I-6/445 hp @ 6,000 rpm, 455 lb-ft @ 3,000 rpm
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Layout: 2-door, 4-passenger, front engine, RWD coupe
EPA Mileage: 21/32 mpg (city/hwy)
L x W x H: 175.9 x 69.8 x 55.4 in
Wheelbase: 105.9 in
Weight: 3,500 lb
0-60 MPH: 3.8 sec (est)
Top Speed: 155 mph
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