At first glance, it is striking that the M235i looks much closer to the regular 2 Series Coupe than 1M looked against the 1 Series Coupe. The 1M stands out with its flared wheel arches, aggressive spoiler, four tailpipes and the Valencia Orange paint which in all fairness might be available for the M235i as well.
Technically, the relationship between the two compact coupes is obvious, both models share a common philosophy and vision of the ideal car for sheer driving pleasure. Balanced weight distribution, rear-wheel drive, along with a similar powerplant: a six-cylinder turbocharging with over 300 hp.
Compared with the BMW 1 Series M Coupe, the new BMW M235i coupe is 12 millimeters flatter and 7 centimeters longer, but not as wide as its predecessor. In return, the BMW M235i is about 40 kilograms lighter.
While the 1 Series M Coupe was delivered exclusively with a manual transmission, M235i customers can also grab the eight-speed automatic transmission with Launch Control. From 0 to 100, the three variants are pretty close to each other:
- 4.8 seconds for the M235i automatic
- 4.9 seconds for the 1 Series M Coupe
- 5.0 seconds for the M235i manual transmission.
Clearly visible is the progress on fuel consumption: the 340-hp twin-turbo inline six-cylinder of the 1 Series M reports in the EU cycle 9.6 liters /100km, while BMW M235i with Twin Scroll, depending on the transmission, consumes 7.6 to 8.1 liters per 100 km.
BMW 1M comes standard with the limited slip differential while the M235i has an optional LSD.
Here is a video showing the two cars on some back roads and launch control: