Technical Comparison: BMW M2 vs M235i

BMW M2 | April 11th, 2016 by 10
BMW M2 vs BMW M235i comparison 03 750x500

We’ve asked the question before, if the BMW M2 was the best deal in the Bavarian lineup, as it doesn’t cost much more than an …

We’ve asked the question before, if the BMW M2 was the best deal in the Bavarian lineup, as it doesn’t cost much more than an M235i and comes with a lot more performance. However, we wonder if it’s actually true, does the BMW M2 represent a better value over its litter brother just because it has a slightly faster 0-60 mph time? Australian publication, Car Advice, has taken a closer look at the two cars, underneath their skin, to see if the BMW M2 actually does pack more tech, hardware and equipment than the M235i.

Admittedly, BMW offers a BMW M2 Pure Manual variant in Australia, so the pricing is a little bit different, as that car comes very unequipped compared to our base model M2 and costs very little over the M235i. However, having said that we’re going to just take a look at the differences in equipment and hardware and see if the BMW M2 is worth the premium over the M235i.

BMW M2 vs BMW M235i 750x527

Under the hood of both cars lies a version of the N55 3.0 liter turbocharged engine that uses one twin-scroll turbocharger (TwinPower in BMW speak). In the M235i, power is at 320 hp and 330 lb-ft of torque. In the BMW M2, power is bumped up to 365 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. The reason for the bump in power is that the BMW M2 gets the pistons and crankshaft bearings from the BMW M3/M4 and also their valvetronic variable valve timing system. The BMW M2 also received an upgraded cooling and oil sump system. All of this adds the extra power to the M2 engine, making it more than just the M235i engine with some added turbo boost. All of this allows the BMW M2 to get from 0-60 a couple of tenths of a second faster than the M235i. So, as far as the engine goes, the M2 does offer more.

Both cars come with a the option of a six-speed manual gearbox or with an automatic transmissions. But when the automatics are equipped, things get a bit different. Firstly, the M235i comes with an eight-speed automatic as standard equipment and the six-speed manual is a no-cost option. So the M235i customer basically has a free choice of gearbox. In the M2, the manual is standard and the seven-speed DCT, the same dual-clutch transmission as in the M3 and M4, is a $2,900 option. So, it gets a bit complicated because while the M235i’s automatic is a no-cost option, the M2’s automatic is a better gearbox. So this one’s a wash.

BMW M2 vs BMW M235i comparison 04 750x750

As far as suspension, chassis and steering go, the BMW M2 has the M235i beat. Firstly, the steering rack and both subframes have been borrowed from the BMW M4, for M2 duty. This gives the BMW M2 a much more sophisticated suspension and steering than the M235i and it shows during hard handling. The BMW M2 is much more composed and is the better handling car. However, the M2’s suspension, its shocks and springs, are non-adjustable, making the ride a bit firm under normal conditions. The M235i has the option for adaptive suspension, allowing it to become a comfortable cruiser when it wants to be. However, the real kicker is that the BMW M2 comes with the electronically-controlled M rear differential, something that’s no longer an option on the M235i. So the M2’s more sophisticated suspension and much better differential give it the engine in terms of chassis and suspension.

On the inside, not much changes from the M235i to the M2. In fact, there are far more options of the M235i’s interior, making it the nicer cabin of the two. Having said that, the M2 does come with a lot of standard equipment that’s option on the M235i. Things like navigation, heated seats and carbon fiber trim are as-standard equipment on the M2, while those are all options on the M235i. However, the baby brother does have a moonroof as standard, while the M2 does not even have the option, for weight saving purposes. So this one’s a bit of a wash as well, being that what the M2 comes with as-standard, the M235i makes up for in more optional luxury and equipment.

All in all, the BMW M2 doesn’t cost much more than the M235i and it would cost less to get one over an equally equipped M235i. The BMW M2 also gets suspension and technology bits from more expensive M cars. So as far as pure value/dollar goes, the BMW M2 is the better deal. Is it better for everyone? No, because of its lack of options and limited color scheme. But if someone is looking for performance and driving dynamics over options, the BMW M2 is the clear choice.

[Source: Car Advice]

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