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      12-29-2010, 11:19 AM   #1
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Drives: F80 M3
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA

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2011 335is Review by

Not the most technical of test drive reviews, but still good info for those interested in the 335is. Here are some notable comments. Full review can be found at

The 335is combines outstanding performance with surprising livability, and the whole package is good enough to justify its high price for those few who choose to pay it, anyway.
The 335is coupe looks the part of a track-ready 3 Series whose owner has explored the aftermarket's tasteful half. The front bumper flanks a lower air dam with larger openings, designed to feed air to an additional radiator on the driver side and an oil cooler on the passenger side. The belt line adds some glossy black window trim and black mirrors, and the tail gets a lower air diffuser. Eighteen-inch wheels replace the coupe's standard 17-inchers; 19s are optional. It's worth noting that BMW offers a smorgasbord of trim combinations, and you can get something similar to the 335is' appearance on a lesser 3 Series coupe by adding various ground-effects packages.
Rather than use the 335i's new twin-scroll, turbocharged six-cylinder, the 335is goes with the old twin-turbo six, with higher turbo boost and bolstered cooling to churn out 320 horsepower and 332 pounds-feet of torque. The car feels palpably quicker than the 300-hp 335i: It spins its rear tires away from stoplights, scoots in the passing lane at 70 mph and bellows a rich, satisfying exhaust note all the way to its 7,000-rpm redline. While the M3's normally aspirated, 414-hp V-8 packs explosive acceleration at higher revs and in absolute terms it's significantly quicker its comparatively modest 295 pounds-feet of torque means it doesn't get cooking until the tach needle swings past 3,000 rpm. The 335is has power to spare long before that mark.
The steering wheel has excellent feedback and turn-in precision. Sans BMW's Active Steering system a pricey option that varies steering ratio, not just assist our test car required a lot of effort to turn at low speeds. Active Steering addresses this, and it's worth looking into.
With tuning similar to the 335i's sport suspension, the 335is displays admirable ride comfort. You feel bumps on the highway, but the suspension takes the edge off them remarkably well. We drove the 335is back-to-back with a Cadillac CTS coupe and Infiniti G37 Sport coupe. The Cadillac's ride was softer, but it introduced a degree of suspension float that was absent from the other two. The G37 Sport's suspension was less forgiving all around. Goldilocks would choose the 335is, and so would we.
There's no praise like sales, and the 3 Series continues to be among the top-selling luxury cars on the market. In the array of options in the model lineup, the 335is is likely to remain a niche member, but it does everything it sets out to do and sacrifices remarkably little to get there. It's not inexpensive, and at its performance limits it behaves more like a 335i than an M3. But there are many drivers who don't want to wring their cars out to 8,000 rpm for maximum performance, and the 335is offers them a different flavor. I suspect enough performance enthusiasts will appreciate it to warrant its addition to the 3 Series lineup.
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