Before the BMW M2 starting snagging up all the available praise for Bavaria, it was the BMW M235i that stole fans’ hearts. It was the first fast 2 Series and it was the one that brought back some hope that BMW still knew what it was doing. Even after it’s been refreshed, and given a new engine, the M235i is still a great car. One of the best parts about it is its engine. The N55 3.0 liter turbocharged I6 engine makes 320 hp and 330 lb-ft of torque. But the best part is its noise.
The N55 engine has been beloved by most BMW fans, for the fact that it feels like a proper BMW I6. It’s torquey, smooth and makes a great metallic noise. Admittedly, the M240i, and its B58 engine, sounds better now but the older N55 still sounds exciting. However, its exhaust note, though quite nice, isn’t enough for many enthusiasts. So they will typically install an aftermarket exhaust system. In this new video from AutoTopNL, we get to hear a ARMYTRIX exhaust for the BMW M235i. It’s certainly louder but is it any better?
There seems to be a theme with modern aftermarket exhausts, in which they don’t actually sound better, they’re just louder and add more pops and bangs. Maybe the problem lies with modern turbocharged engines, as turbos starve exhausts of necessary gasses for making great noises. So maybe exhaust companies have very little to work with. However, I still can’t help but feel that this exhaust is just noisier and not any better.
That’s not to say it’s bad, it just lacks that typical BMW metallic growl that we all know and love. If you closed your eyes and just listened to it, before seeing it was a BMW, I could tell you it as an Audi or even a Cadillac and you’d be none the wiser. There’s something special about the sound of BMW’s I6 engines, no matter how subdued it is from the factory. Personally, I’d rather have either the stock exhaust or something from Akrapovic. But what do you think?