AutoWeek’s editorial team put together a drivers log of the 2011 BMW 335is. The 335iS builds upon the 335i with new bodywork, engine upgrades, suspension changes and subtle interior tweaks.
The ///M designed aerodynamics package yields real results on the track, with a functional rear diffuser eliminating lift over the rear axle. Vertical vanes in the diffuser guide airflow and maintain velocity, thus decreasing pressure and reducing lift. BMW has confirmed that this is the most aggressive rear aero package fitted to any 3 series production car… including the M3.
Without any further ado, let’s find out if AutoWeek staff shares our enthusiasm…
EXECUTIVE EDITOR–AUTOWEEK.COM BOB GRITZINGER: It seems like we’re getting into virtually every variety of 3-series lately, and that’s not too tough to take. This one features the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, which does a wonderful job of controlling every bit of power going to the rear wheels. When you want to manage it-say, in hot cornering maneuvers or in wall-to-wall traffic–the paddles make it easy to pick a gear and hang with it. I found the gearbox just fine when left to its own devices, however; I merely opted for sport versus standard when I wanted more out of the gearbox at the moment
EXECUTIVE EDITOR ROGER HART: If you never had to worry about carrying anyone in your car besides one passenger, this would be a good car to throw into the mix. For shear driving pleasure, the 3-series coupe is near the top of the class. While I’m still not a big fan of BMW’s dual-clutch tranny, I really didn’t mind this one at all. For the most part, I just left it in auto mode to let the computer do the heavy lifting. The results were just fine. As I said, for shear driving pleasure, this car is really, really hard to beat.
MOTORSPORTS EDITOR MAC MORRISON: I walked away from the 335is thinking, “M what?”
As much as I like the M3, I’ve also become wary of its limitless combination of electronic settings and bulkiness. This car, as Wong noted, reminded me a lot of the previous M example, and that’s one of my all-time favorites. Each time I drove, I thought “this is perhaps–no, probably–all I would ever need.” Not that it’s a bargain at this $50,000 starting price, but for the real world, this 335is does everything I would ever want, and more.
The steering as usual is spot-on, the brakes and pedal feel are strong, the handling is sharp and throttle-steerable. And the sounds coming from the engine and the exhaust just about hypnotized me. I smiled throughout almost all of my drive time, and that might be the best endorsement I can give. The test car’s white paint, along with the more aggressive exterior trim, gave it a great appearance to boot.
This is an extremely satisfying drive. Do not pass up any chance you might have to test one.
2011 BMW 335is Photo Gallery