While the rest of the auto world is transfixed on the Los Angeles Auto Show and the Tokyo Motor Show , BMW Motorsport is taking the under-the-radar approach in introducing its latest race car: the M235i Racing.
On the surface, the M235i Racing looks like a conservatively modified 2 Series that just came with M Performance billing. But the lack of substantial modifications didn’t come by accident, something BMW Motors port Director Jens Marquardt said was born out of the impressive components that already come out of the BMW M Performance program.
"The range is already incredibly sporty," Marquardt said. "Because of this, we did not have to make many modifications in order to get the BMW M235i Coupe up and running as a racing car."
Updated 01/20/2014: BMW unveiled a new series of images of the upcoming M235i Racing car before the car’s official debut at the 2014 DTM racing series.
Updated 02/10/2014: BMW unveiled a new video revealing how the M235i Racing is built. Enjoy!
Click past the jump to read about the 2014 BMW 2 Series
Gallery BMW M235i Coupe
Updated 12/09/2013: BMW Motorsport unveiled a new video featuring the M235i Racing showing the car in action on the race track. Enjoy!
Back when BMW showed this teaser photo of the M235i Racing a few weeks back, we didn’t know what to make of it. But with the new photos and new details now available, the race car turned out to be as good as advertised.
The BMW M235i Racing has been fitted with all the basic racing amenities using BMW M Performance Parts, including front and rear spoilers, carbon-fiber mirror caps, and a new rear diffuser.
|Max. width (without mirrors)||73.31 in.|
|Wheel base||105.90 in.|
|Max. track width||63.31 in.|
Like any true race car, a big chunk of the luxury and comfort amenities were taken out in favor of race-spec materials that’ll ensure that the M235i Racing performs up to its highest racing capabilities while adhering to the driver’s safety.
A Recaro Pro Racer SPG racing seat was installed and fitted with a six-point racing harness courtesy of Schroth. There’s also a DSMB-certified and FIA-approved cage to keep the driver wrapped in a safe cocoon when he’s competing out on the track.
Interior Safety Components
- Cage with DMSB certificate and FIA approval
- 6-point racing harness from Schroth
- Racing seat RECARO Pro Racer SPG
- EXTRAS Taxi seat, incl. belt
- XL driver’s seat
Drivetrain and Performance
The M235i Racing will be powered by a 3.0-liter, TwinPower Turbo six-cylinder engine that produces 333 horsepower, nearly identical to the 322-horsepower output of the standard M235i.
Likewise, race-spec driving aids like ABS, DSC, and traction control were also installed, as was a limited-slip differential to keep the racecar in tip-top shape when it begins competition at numerous racing series like the VLN Endurance Championship.
Suspension and Brakes
Any race car worth its salt needs to have reinforced suspension and brakes. It’s not like you racers can just roll out the block and enjoy a joy ride while other cars drive past it. The object is still to win, hence, the importance of improved suspension and brakes.
BMW addressed this by installing new suspension springs from H&R, including a 2-way anti-roll bar on the front and rear of the racer. Likewise, a high-performance motorsport braking system was added with the front getting treated to a 4-pot fixed caliper with Performance Friction capabilities. As for the back, a BMW M Performance 2-pot braking system was put in place, ensuring that the race car can take full advantage of the upgrades while also making good use of the added tech on the race car.
Any racing team interested in the BMW 235i Racing can avail of the race car for just €59,500, which is about $80,000 based on current exchange rates.
The 2013 Opel Astra OPC Cup was actually unveiled a year ago to compete in this season’s VLN Endurance Championship. When the 2014 season rolls around, the Astra OPC Cup will have one new competitor on the block: the M235i Racing.
The Astra OPC Cup competed in the 2013 season and was built to fully comply with "VLN Endurance Championship" standards, considered as the most popular grass roots racing series in Europe.
Gallery Opel Astra OPC Cup
BMW’s current line-up is beginning to be chock-full of impressive models. The latest one to be added to the group is the 2014 BMW 2 Series, a larger and sportier version of the entry level 1 Series.
The new 2 Series Coupe features the usual design elements we have seen in all the coupe models from BMW: a three-box body with clearly defined boot and low-slung silhouette, a long bonnet, doors with frameless windows and a dynamically stretched roofline flowing smoothly into the rear end.
The most powerful version of the BMW 2 Series is the M235i, which comes with a turbocharged 3.0-liter, in-line six-cylinder engine that cranks out a stout 322 horsepower between 5,800 and 6,000 rpm, and 332 pound-feet of torque between 1,300 and 4,500 rpm.
Gallery BMW 2 Series Coupe
There’s always a novelty that comes with a new sports car that has been turned into a full race-spec machine. That’s the case with the BMW M235i Racing. If we were a team in search for a car, we’re definitely going to look seriously at the his race car, in large part because of BMW’s rich racing pedigree and the fact that the car really has the kind of racing potential that can spell the difference between a title contender and a pretender.
Tack on further racing modifications on the M235i Racing and it should be ready to go and compete against the best of the VLN Endurance Championship.
- First race car derivative of the new 2 Series
- Power numbers are tight
- Safety equipment was an important addition
- Lots of competing race cars
- New isn’t always better
Munich (DE), 20th November 2013. BMW Motorsport is expanding its range of cars within the BMW Sports Trophy Customer Racing programme: from 2014, privateer BMW teams and drivers will have the opportunity to line up at events with the new BMW M235i Racing. With a price of 59,500.00 Euros (excl. VAT) and impressive performance figures, the production-based coupé meets all the basic requirements of a successful entry-level racing car.
The plan is initially for the car to be used in series and events such as the VLN Endurance Championship and the Nürburgring 24 Hours on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife (DE). Looking ahead, the BMW M235i Racing should also be successful on international stages for BMW Sports Trophy drivers.
“The basis our engineers had to start with when developing the racing version of the BMW M235i Racing was exceptionally good,” said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “The production models from the BMW M Performance Automobiles range are already incredibly sporty. Because of this, we did not have to make many modifications in order to get the BMW M235i Coupé up and running as a racing car. BMW Motorsport can look back on a long tradition of allowing ambitious teams and drivers an affordable way into motor racing – and of offering them an absolutely competitive car. That was the case recently with the BMW M3 GT4, and that is now being superseded with the BMW M235i Racing. While the BMW Z4 GT3 spearheads our range, the new car means we are now also excellently positioned for the coming years in the field of production-based racing cars.”
The motorsport genes are also easily recognisable in the production version of the BMW M235i Coupé, courtesy of the aerodynamically optimised body design. It is propelled by the most powerful petrol engine developed so far for a BMW M Performance Automobile: a six-cylinder in-line engine with M Performance TwinPower Turbo technology. With a capacity of 2,979ccm, the racing version is capable of generating 333hp (245kW).
Motorsport-specific driving aids such as ABS, DSC and traction control ensure that the motorsport newcomers can also handle the BMW M235i Racing surely and safely. The car also comes with mechanical limited-slip differential, which is also available for the BMW M235i Coupé in the original BMW Parts range. The racing car is also fitted with features such as the FIA-certified safety cell and the modern safety tank. On top of this come components from the BMW M Performance Parts range, such as the rear and front spoilers, diffusor and carbon wing mirrors.