A at the Geneva Motor Show in early March, the BMW 335i Performance caused attention and confusion. A new sporty vehicle line beyond M GmbH? This promptly fed the heretical assumption of a kind of hidden, in-house course correction. Undercover away from the high-revving eight to the turbocharged six-cylinder biturbo engine? Greetings from downsizing? Considering the amount of prices that the three-liter gasoline direct injection unit could rake in worldwide, such considerations were obvious.
Performance line intended as an alternative to tuning
But BMW mother like Daughters deny in unison: 'Nothing there - the performance line is only intended as an alternative to tuning.' Nice details, available individually or in one piece, with which your own car can be individualized. So far so good. But wasn't that kind of thing also possible with the M-packages that were previously in the endless lists of Munich surcharges? Why now another performance kit?
This question could not be answered satisfactorily. Especially since the threesome, sharpened by means of numerous aerodynamic parts, a modified silencer system with significantly more voice power and a performance chassis along with modified chassis springs, is not only a visual reminder of the 420 hp naturally aspirated top model from M GmbH. In terms of price, too, the sporty middle-class with twin-turbo in-line six and pithy four-liter V8 ranks close together.
Test car price: 75,458 euros
The newcomer in the full test car outfit costs an impressive 75,458 euros. The performance package alone accounts for around 16,500 euros - without any increase in performance, mind you. Anyone who wants to help their 3-series BMW with the active expansion stage of the three-liter biturbo engine (326 hp) will be asked to pay another 2,000 euros.
For the remaining difference between the basic vehicle price (42,300 Euros) and the test car price without performance kit (56,957 euros) are responsible for other factory-provided extras such as navigation and audio systems, ski bags, mobile phone preparation and Park Distance Control. For comparison: the BMW M3 is available from 66,000 euros. The test cars that were in the editorial office at different times were priced between 80,000 and 85,000 euros. The BMW 335i is purely monetarySo performance as a four-door sedan is quite an announcement. Coupé and convertible are a bit more expensive.
There are hardly any differences in driving dynamics
And in driving dynamics? With such high operating costs, a lot can be expected in this regard. Unfortunately, the performance threesome doesn't keep what its emphatically stocky appearance with the strongly drawn sills and aprons, the distinctive carbon fiber parts and the hearty, sonorous voice promises. The 335i with a multifunction steering wheel and integrated shift lights, crisp, short performance gear knob, carbon covers for the instrument panel, doors and center console as well as the excellently contoured, Alcantara-covered sports seat shells at the front also exudes a lot of sporty flair on the inside.
The 1.6-ton four-door is not much faster on the road. With 5.5 to 5.8 seconds, the performance sedan completes the 0-100 sprint three tenths of a second faster than the sister model tested in August 2007. On the 2.6-kilometer short circuit in Hockenheim, however, the work on the chassis, engine and aerodynamics had no effect. With a lap time of 1.18.1 minutes, the newcomer seamlessly joins its 306 hp predecessor, each around ten kilograms heavier.
The year 2007 for comparison with the Subaru Impreza WRX STi and the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX manually shifted sedan completed the same exercise in 1.18.0 minutes, the 335i Coupé equipped with the double clutch transmission DKG in 1.17.9 minutes at the end of last year. All cars relied on Bridgestone Potenza RE050A tires. The mixed-tire wheels of the first sedan were 18 inches, those of the coupé and the performance sedan 19 inches. The tread widths were identical for all cars at 225 millimeters at the front and 255 millimeters at the rear. Similar to the 335i Coupé with M sports suspension that was left at sport auto for the purpose of an endurance test, the 335i Performance Sedan also demands certain accepting qualities from the occupants.
Run-flat tires cost comfort
In conjunction with run-flat tires, the rolling and suspension comfort of the performance chassis is not always smooth. Information about the condition of the road surface is openly transmitted. However, the hardship in daily use pays off in the 18-meter slalom: Here, the performance three with an average speed of 68.2 km /h is around 0.5 to one km /h faster than the previously tested 335i models. His overall very good-natured, because understeering suspension setup slows him down less than on the small course.
In the brake test, there were no differences despite the modified brake cooling: With average deceleration values of 10.8 m /s², both cold and warm, the mid-range BMW operates at the usual high level. All in all, you would have come fromBut more promised to a sporty threesome with performance demands. Maybe that's the concession to M GmbH.