Long-term introduction: BMW M235i
It’s been nearly nine months since I’ve had a chance to contribute to these pages, mainly because I’ve not been the caretaker of a long-term car.
However, I’m very happy to report that last month my new steed arrived, and what a ride it is. The BMW M235i is a model that CAR rated highly; when we tested it in June 2014, we said “the newcomer from Munich could prove the best bang-for buck sportscar”. It’s a sentiment we stand by.
Not keen to rest on its laurels, BMW SA was kind enough to respond positively to our request for a long-term loan vehicle, which I have been tasked with driving for the next 20 000 km.
While it may look identical to the car featured in the 2015 Performance Shootout (see the January 2015 issue for a report on that vehicle), this is a brand new car. In fact, it was built to my exact specification.
While it was tempting to tick every conceivable box on the extras list, I showed some self-restraint; after finding out what the average M235i owner spends, I optioned DM 83 CW GP accordingly.
It may not look like much has changed from the outside, but there are quite a few tasty extras; I’ll delve into the list at a later stage. The one option I avoided was the eight-speed automatic transmission – as good as it is, I feel that a car of this nature deserves a stick shift and three pedals in the footwell.
As it’s a bespoke commission, we waited a few months for the car to arrive from Germany and, when it did, it had virtually no mileage on the odo and as such necessitated a running-in period. I am not the most patient person in the world, but I diligently stuck to the guidelines. Thankfully, the full complement of torque – 450 N.m – is on tap from a lowly 1 300 r/min, so pootling around was no hardship.
Hopefully, by the time this issue goes to print, the car will have passed the run-in cap and I will get to unleash the full 240 kW on a regular basis.
After 1 month:
Mileage now (km): 1 230 km
Fuel consumption (litres/100 km): 12,91 litres/100 km
We like: good looks, punchy motor
We don’t like: running-in period