The BMW 1 Series M has been regarded as one of the best pieces of performance machinery to come from the halls of BMW for decades, but sadly it was limited to a very short run of cars and it was only sold as a coupe . Now that BMW has moved its two-door models to the new naming scheme, it seems that we are at least getting a topless model that approaches the same fun and tossability as the 1M Coupe with the freshly announced 2015 M235i Convertible.
It shares many similarities with the new M235i Coupe , but with much more headroom and sunshine. It also marks the first convertible version of an M Performance model. With a turbocharged, straight-six engine, a six-speed manual transmission and rear-wheel drive, it has all the proper bits to make for a truly memorable driving machine.
Like all machines that roll from the BMW factory, the M235i Convertible also promises to offer a sublime blend of handling ability and ride comfort. What else makes this machine different from a regular 2-Series ? Read on to find out.
Click past the jump to read more about the BMW M235i Convertible.
Creating a rendering for the upcoming M235i Convertible was pretty easy once we had the M235i Coupe. As you probably imagined all we need to do was to remove the top and we came with an image that will offer you a pretty good idea on how the sports convertible will look like.
There have been some changes made to the overall design of the M235i in its transformation to a convertible. The front end has been made a little swoopier, the kidney grille has been stretched slightly at the top with some sharper points, and the cooling ducts that flank the bumper have been made much larger. The headlights are also a mildly revised design that are longer, and have a unique kink in the housing towards the inside.
The trunk is decidedly sedate for anything with any type of M badge, and aside from the loss of the roof, the rear of the M235i Convertible looks almost identical to its Coupe sibling.
2014 BMW M235i Coupe
The inside of the M235i Convertible will be very familiar to anyone who has seen or driven the fixed-top version of the car. The seats are special sports buckets, the steering wheel is an M version wrapped in leather, and the interior trim is a design BMW calls “Aluminum Hexagon.”
Along with the fancy, metal trim, the M235i Convertible also gets some rather attractive accent strips that come in either Estoril Blue or a gloss black. The shift boot and hand brake also get a dash of leather to class things up a bit.
This is the good bit. Under the hood of the M235i Convertible is BMW’s TwinPower Turbo, 3.0-liter straight-six engine. It has been meddled with by the M Performance team to the tune of 320 horsepower and 330 pound-feet of twist. Thanks to fancy tech like variable valve timing, variable camshaft timing, direct injection and the twin-scroll design turbo, all that power is available early in the rev range and stays there until the redline. It makes the engine feel much more punchy and playful that previous BMW turbo engines that were more high-strung.
Shifting duties are being handled by your choice of a six-speed manual transmission (the right choice) or an eight-speed Steptronic automatic with paddle shifters (the wrong choice). If you row your own gears, BMW says you can get the M235i Convertible to 60 mph in five seconds flat. Thanks to the quick-shifting nature of the automatic, you can make the sprint a bit faster with a time of 4.8 seconds. Top speed for all models is limited to a very German 155 mph.
|Type||3.0 liter inline-six|
|Output||320 HP @ 5,800 - 6,000 RPM|
|Torque||330 LB-FT @ 1,400 - 4,500 RPM|
|0-60 mph||4.8 Seconds (Auto); 5 Seconds (Manual)|
|Top Speed||155 mph|
Suspension and Brakes
To make sure the car’s handling was not compromised, BMW has returned the suspension to accommodate for the lack of a roof. The suspension has a custom configuration for this model, and all the damping rates have been revised. Every M235i Convertible also comes standard with M Sport brakes and a variable sport steering system.
Planting the machine to the tarmac is a set of exclusive 18-inch alloy wheels with Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires. The rubber is staggered with 225-aspect tires up front and 245s in the rear.
The starting point for the 2015 M235i Convertible is $48,650, including $950 destination and handling.
The Audi TTS is currently one of our favorite sports cars on the market — and one of the best sold. It is powered by a 2.0-liter, TFSI engine that delivers a total output of 265 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. This power is enough to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds and up to a top speed is limited to 155 mph.
The TTS is priced from about $52k, which is well above the M235i Convertible. This is rather un-Audi-like for it to be so much higher than a Bimmer, but those are the facts.
For customers interested more in luxury than in sporty driving there is always the Porsche Boxster, in its S version of course. The model gets a 3.4 -liter, flat-six engine that delivers a total of 315 horsepower. It goes from 0 to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds and up to a top speed of 173 mph.
Luxury costs of course as the Boxster S is priced from $63,300.
Gallery Porsche Boxster
It was a near impossible task for BMW to outdo the magic that was the 1 Series M Coupe, but the M235i goes a long way to recreating the fun. Thanks to the new convertible version, you get the added bonus of infinite headroom, lots of sunshine and all the glorious exhaust noise you can handle. It may not be as quick around a track as the old 1 Series, but I bet you that on a great back road, the new M235i would be the better choice.
- Aggressive M Sport design touches add to the overall look
- Limitless headroom equals more excitement and more noise
- Tuned turbo engine with more than 300 horsepower
- A bargain when compared to the TTS and Boxster S
- Not as quick as the old 1 Series M Coupe
- I would like to see more interior color and trim options
Gallery BMW M235i Convertible
The BMW M235i Convertible: The first open-top M Performance Automobile
Following the BMW M235i Coupe, the M235i Convertible becomes the first open-top M Performance Automobile, offering the characteristic M brand of exhilarating driving enjoyment. Like the coupe, it features a higher-output M Performance TwinPower Turbo inline six, mated to either an 8-speed sport automatic or six-speed manual transmission. Aerodynamically optimized body features and custom chassis components are matched with typical M precision to the engine performance characteristics, ensuring a perfect blend of outstanding agility and precise handle.
The BMW M235i Convertible amps up the passion and adrenaline of dynamic open-top driving to new heights. Like its BMW M235i Coupe stablemate, the open four-seater also has a distinctive and authentic character rooted in the experience of BMW M GmbH as a developer of high-performance sports cars for general everyday use. Drawing on this exclusive know-how, the BMW M235i Convertible provides the perfect balance of engine power, chassis engineering and aerodynamic characteristics to deliver levels of agility, precision and emotional intensity that are unsurpassed in the premium compact segment.
Inline-six engine with M Performance TwinPower Turbo technology.
The M Performance TwinPower Turbo inline-six in the M235i Convertible offers an infectious blend of responsive power, high revving ability and powerful torque that remains constant over a wide engine speed range. Highlights also include its highly efficient design, which gives the BMW M235i Convertible fuel economy figures that are all the more remarkable in the light of its performance.
The M Performance TwinPower Turbo technology comprises a twin-scroll turbocharging system, High Precision Direct Injection featuring centrally positioned multi-hole injectors, VALVETRONIC variable valve lift regulation and Double-VANOS variable camshaft timing. A cooling system, engine management and engine sound tuning, all of which have been exclusively customized to the requirements of the BMW 2 Series M Performance models, complete the picture. Maximum power of 320 hp is generated between 5,800 and 6,000 rpm, from a displacement of 3.0 liters. The maximum torque of 330 lb-ft is available between 1,400 and 4,500 rpm.
With the standard eight-speed Steptronic sport transmission with Launch Control function, the BMW M235i Convertible accelerates from 0-60 mph in 4.8 seconds. It is also available with a six-speed manual gearbox with dry sump lubrication. Its short-throw action provides extra-sporty shifting. 60 mph is reached from a standstill in five seconds flat. Top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h (155 mph).
In line with contemporary concerns, the BMW M Performance models incorporate an extensive range of BMW EfficientDynamics technologies. US EPA numbers are not yet available for the M235i Convertible, however the M235i Coupe boosts a near 20 percent improvement over its 135i Coupe predecessor.
Agile and precise custom chassis technology.
Thanks to typical precision-tuned M custom chassis technology, in the BMW M235i Convertible outstanding engine performance is translated into assured driving dynamics. Custom-configured suspension and damping systems as well as special front suspension elastokinematics are adapted both to the performance characteristics of the six-cylinder engine and to the specific requirements of the open body style. The M Sport brakes and variable sport steering – the latter again specially configured – are standard specification on the BMW M235i Convertible.
Also standard are exclusive 18-inch M alloy wheels with mixed Michelin Pilot Super Sport non-run-flat performance tires in size 225/40 R18 front and 245/35 R18 rear. These specially developed high-grip tires optimally transmit all dynamic drive forces to the road.
Optimized aerodynamic balance, sports car flavor in the cockpit.
The precisely controllable handling of the BMW M235i Convertible is partly down to custom chassis technology but partly also to an optimized aerodynamic balance. Aerodynamically styled body parts, which include an M‑style front apron, are a hallmark of the BMW M235i Convertible’s design. The large air intakes in this apron, with flaps adapted from racing car design, extend into the area which on the other versions of the BMW 2 Series Convertible is reserved for the fog lamps. The exterior mirror caps are finished in Ferric Grey metallic. Further exterior design features include the striking side sill contouring and a rear apron whose lower section, in Shadowline metallic, also incorporates the twin tailpipes in black chrome.
Further exclusive design features include door sill finishers with aluminum inserts bearing “M235i” lettering and a specially “tuned” interior that features sports seats for the driver and front passenger, an M leather steering wheel with multifunction buttons, Aluminum Hexagon interior trim with accent strips in matt Estoril Blue or high-gloss black, leather trim for the gearshift lever/selector lever and handbrake lever gaiter, and an M driver’s footrest. The custom instrument cluster features red markings and numbers for the speedometer and tachometer, while the instrument cluster with extended features additionally has a digitally produced model designation. Rounding off the interior specifications of the BMW M235i Convertible are variable-color interior lighting and blue detailing for the car key.