Home > 2011 BMW > Well-rounded performance 2011 BMW 335is

Well-rounded performance 2011 BMW 335is

Well-rounded performance 2011 BMW 335is

Well-rounded performance 2011 BMW 335is

Rather than use the 335i’s new twin-scroll, turbocharged six-cylinder, the 335is goes with the old twin-turbo six, with higher turbo boost and bolstered cooling to churn out 320 horsepower and 332 pounds-feet of torque. The car feels palpably quicker than the 300-hp 335i: It spins its rear tires away from stoplights, scoots in the passing lane at 70 mph and bellows a rich, satisfying exhaust note all the way to its 7,000-rpm redline. While the M3’s normally aspirated, 414-hp V-8 packs explosive acceleration at higher revs — and in absolute terms it’s significantly quicker — its comparatively modest 295 pounds-feet of torque means it doesn’t get cooking until the tach needle swings past 3,000 rpm. The 335is has power to spare long before that mark.

 

A six-speed manual transmission is standard, and that’s what we tested. BMW tweaked its gearing versus the manual 335i: 1st gear is shorter, with a marginally taller 2nd, 3rd and 4th. With short throws and precise engagements, the 335is’ shifter is a lot of fun to send from one gear to the next. The shifter comes from BMW’s M division, and it’s a major standout over the 3 Series’ standard one, whose long, rubbery throws are a low point in that car.

Optional on the 335is is the seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic that BMW typically reserves for the M3 and other high-performance cars; lesser 3 Series cars have a conventional six-speed automatic.

The 335is gets the same brakes as the 335i: large, 13.7-inch front and 13.2-inch rear discs, with standard antilock braking. The pedal delivers strong, linear response that makes it easy to stop exactly how you’d like.

Like any 3 Series, the rear-wheel-drive 335is benefits from near-50/50 weight distribution — slightly closer to it, in fact, than the rear-drive 335i coupe. The car rotates on its axis marvelously, with the sort of fine-tuned control that allows you to slide out the tail, tuck it back in line and fly down the road without having to practice much. Open it up at low rpm, and BMW says the engine can go into a temporary overboost mode that cranks out as much as 370 pounds-feet of torque. That comes in handy during those sideways moments.

The steering wheel has excellent feedback and turn-in precision. Sans BMW’s Active Steering system — a pricey option that varies steering ratio, not just assist — our test car required a lot of effort to turn at low speeds. Active Steering addresses this, and it’s worth looking into.

With tuning similar to the 335i’s sport suspension, the 335is displays admirable ride comfort. You feel bumps on the highway, but the suspension takes the edge off them remarkably well. We drove the 335is back-to-back with a Cadillac CTS coupe and Infiniti G37 Sport coupe. The Cadillac’s ride was softer, but it introduced a degree of suspension float that was absent from the other two. The G37 Sport’s suspension was less forgiving all around. Goldilocks would choose the 335is, and so would we.

Source: fox4kc

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