2011 BMW 335is. What Can South Africans Expect?
Firstly, the power ratings quoted on the press release are for the American market and will probably be revised downwards once the 335is coupe is released locally, due to the quality of South Africa’s petrol.
Secondly, the advertised MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) for the 335is coupe is $50,525, an 18% premium over the 335i coupe, putting the estimated price of a 335is at R698,560 – quite close to the R762,000 MSRP of the far more powerful M3 coupe.
So the question then is, is the 335is too close in price to its 309 kW sibling, and will it ultimately be overshadowed by it? I think not. The M3 might have an additional 69 kW of power but it has 50 Nm less torque – 100 Nm less with over-boost, but more importantly that torque is available at 1500 rpm due to the 335is turbo changed inline-6 engine. This means that overtaking in the 335is is less tiresome than in the M3 and you will not have to work so hard to get the best out of the engine.
Also, and I speak under correction as I have not driven the 335is coupe, but I do believe that it and the M3 coupe will be different enough to not compete with each other.
The M3 is a ‘hardcore’ sports car with stiff suspension and a shrieking exhaust note, which all sounds very appealing on paper but is a different story altogether when you drive to the office in stop start-traffic, dodging potholes that I wouldn’t venture to go through in a Discovery. To many it is also a bit vulgar, drawing too much of the wrong kind of attention at traffic lights.
I would assume that the 335is coupe will be more refined inside as well, with more comfortable seats for long trips and a softer suspension to match. It will more than likely also be easier to drive in traffic and the smaller engine will use less fuel. It is also more discrete when compared to the body stylings of the M3.
I think the 335is will find traction in the local market and I look forward to driving one.