The new BMW M235i takes on the Opel Astra OPC and the iconic Subaru WRX STi. The comparison is even more interesting when you look at the drivetrains. We have a rear-wheel drive (M235i) compared against a front-wheel drive (Astra OPC) and an all-wheel drive (WRX STi).
BMW M235i Coupe launched earlier this year and we had a chance to sample it at Las Vegas Speedway. Until the M2 arrives in 2016, the M235i is the best BMW money can buy, other than a full-M car. The BMW M235i Coupe is the latest member of the BMW M Performance Automobile familyand it is powered by the N55 3.0 liter TwinPower turbocharged inline-six engine also found in the M135i. It produces 322 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque taking the M235i from 0-60 in 4.8 seconds when optioned with the 8-speed sport automatic. Top speed is 155mph and MPG is 22 city/32 hwy for the auto and 19/29 for the 6-speed manual.
Under the hood of the 340 R WRX STi is a 2.5 liter four-cylinder engine paired to a six-speed manual transmission producing 316 horsepower and 450 Nm of torque. 0 to 60 mph is achieved in 4.7 seconds, an improvement of 0.5 seconds over the standard WRX STI.
The OPC trim of the Astra GTC has been available since 2012. The car features a turbocharged 2.0 L direct injection engine with a power of 206 kW (280 PS; 276 hp) and torque of 400 N·m (300 lb·ft), HiPerStrut front suspension, a mechanical limited slip differential, an electronically controlled FlexRide active suspension, and Recaro-style sport seats. 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) time is 6 seconds and top speed is limited to 250 km/h (155 mph).
Which ones come on top? Let’s find out.