The current consensus of many BMW enthusiasts is that the BMW M235i is the best driving BMW currently on sale. I’m sure M4 owners would have something to say about that, but the majority will agree that the M235i is the best current BMW. It brings back everything we so love about the Bavarian brand; it’s the right size (small), lightweight, adequately powered and not overpowered but most of all, it’s fun to drive.
The folks at Dinan tuning, one of BMW’s most premier tuners, tend to agree with that analysis. According to Dinan’s technical director, Casper van der Shoot, the M235i is the BMW he’d most like to daily drive.
Well, like every other BMW that Dinan gets its hands on, the M235i can be made just a bit better and its engineers have just sunk their teeth into an R&D test M235i. Autoblog was fortunate enough to be the first to test drive the Dinan M235i and has come back with rave reviews.
Dinan offers a wide variety of options to tune your BMW with. The M235i that Autoblog drove came with the following options: Dinantronics ECU, free-flow exhaust, carbon-fiber cold air intake, twin-core intercooler, a new turbocharger, lighter front sway bar, revised front control arms, stiffer springs and some cosmetic touches, though the interior is relatively untouched. All of this extra kit sends the price of the M235i over $60,000.
According to Autoblog, the Dinan-tuned BMW M235i is an absolute joy to drive. Dinan bumped horsepower to around 440, up from 320, and torque up to 450 lb-ft. So this M235i is an absolute rocket and should crush the 4.6 second 0-60 mph time of the standard car. But the beauty of Dinan’s cars is that the key features and characteristics that make the standard car so great aren’t played with. So the Dinan M235i still has the same lightweight, yet direct, steering as before, but maybe with even better feel thanks to the revised control arms, and is still as playful as ever. It’s just faster, sharper and louder. The free-flow exhaust allows the beautiful straight-six sing its song. A loud, deep burble is heard at idle that makes way to a scream at redline.
It’s so interesting to see the untapped potential of the M235i that just a few upgrades can bring out. Dinan could have easily amped up power far more than it already did, but it kept it within the realm of the standard car. Because the feel of the M235i is still there, but it doesn’t have a leash on anymore, it’s free to breathe. While $60,000 is a lot of money for a small coupe, it’s absolutely worth it for the perfect BMW.