We’ve been talking quite a bit about the upcoming BMW M240i lately, but the M235i is still a great car and one that doesn’t deserve to be forgotten. Dinan hasn’t forgotten the M235i and has in fact made it even better, with the Dinan S3. We’ve spoken about the S3, not to be confused with the small Audi, on here before and it seems like a pretty great car. But now /Drive has given it a spin, so let’s take a look at what they found.
Executive Producer of /Drive, Mike Spinelli, drives the Dinan S3 BMW M235i in this video and really allows us to get a good idea of what it’s like to drive. Any time tuners get there hands on cars like the BMW M235i, cars that are really well balanced and feel near perfect already, it causes us some pause because it’s really possible that they can ruin it. However, Dinan hasn’t done that. In fact, what Dinan has done is made a version of the car that, according to Spinelli, seems like something BMW would have done itself.
Dinan has a very comprehensive approach to tuning, where they focus on each and every aspect of the car to make sure that the entire tuning package meshes together well and isn’t just big power bump. It all starts with an ECU tune, aided by a bigger turbo and a cold-air intake. All of that combines to give the M235i an extra 125 hp for Dinan S3 duty. They’ve also stiffened up the springs a bit, but not too much as the M235i was already so well-balanced and well sprung, as well as added metal-on-metal ball joints to add a bit more feel through the chassis. Then they upgraded the brakes and wheels, which all combines to make a very complete feeling tuning package and feels like something that could have come from the factory.
The Dinan S3 has around 445 hp, which is 80 more than the mighty BMW M2, so it’s going to be properly quick. And, unlike many tuner cars that can’t handle their extra power, the S3 seems to drive and feel just like an M235i cranked up to 11. It isn’t overpowered or over-tuned and it’s suspension still seems compliant and luxurious, which has a lot to do with Dinan’s progressive bump stops used on the shocks. It’s just a really great car to actually drive, it isn’t something with ridiculous camber and massive wheels just to try and look cool, it’s designed to drive and kick ass doing it.
We’re already big fans of the BMW M235i, so you can only imagine that we’re already big fans of the Dinan S3 without even having driven it yet. This is how tuned cars are supposed to be.