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BMW 335is Convertible
Image by brent flanders
The BMW 335is is the crown jewel in the newly enhanced BMW 3 Series coupe and convertible lineup. The new model features BMW’s twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 engine, tuned for 320 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. This is the same engine used in the Z4 sDrive35is, where it’s rated at 335 hp.
When asked in a group interview why the same engine is rated at 335 hp in the BMW Z4is, BMW officials had a difficult time relaying a clear explanation. First they claimed it was because the six-speed manual tranny couldn’t handle much more torque (the manual is not offered in the Z4is). Then another German BMW representative said it was a marketing decision. Lastly, a U.S. official claimed that it was really about a more restricted intake on the 335is because of packaging. He says that the German misunderstood the question and that the product planner (who came up with the original transmission answer) just didn’t know what he was talking about.
The car channels its power through a standard six-speed manual transmission, although an optional seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual will also be offered. The seven-speed tranny also offers launch control, which allows the engine to achieve a 10-second burst of up to 370 lb-ft of torque.
BMW says the 335is coupe will close the 0-60-mph gap in 5 seconds flat when equipped with the optional transmission. The convertible version is two-tenths slower.
Consistent with the general 2011 updates across the entire 3 Series lineup, the 335is also receives new high-depth LED taillights, new xenon adaptive headlights with LED-lighted corona rings, and the new hood, which integrates a freshened BMW kidney grille.
Beyond those updates, the 335is will be further distinguished by BMW M Sport enhancements which include comprehensive M aerodynamic body pieces meant to manage airflow, a larger new airdam to promote cooling, and kidney grille surrounds in high-gloss black. Also new for the 335is is a free-flowing sport exhaust system which has been specially tuned to a satisfying, low rumble.
Additional changes include Shadowline black window trim, wing mirror caps in high-gloss black, and standard 18-inch light-alloy wheels in ferric gray color, with 19-inch light-alloy M wheels as an option. And just to make certain that no one misses the car’s exclusivity, 335is badges are mounted on each front fender and the edge of the trunk lid.
M Sport upgrades to the 335is continue inside with an M Sport steering wheel, sport seats, anthracite headliner, M door sills, M driver’s footrest, M gearshift knob and high-quality stainless-steel sport pedals. More exclusive 335is badging also adorns the car’s sporty interior.
Inside Line says: BMW may not have worked out its public rationale to the lower horsepower figure, but that doesn’t make the 335is any less desirable. — Kelly Toepke, News Editor