Track Tested: 2011 BMW 335is Coupe

Track Tested: 2011 BMW 335is Coupe

2011 BMW 335is Coupe

Edmunds tests hundreds of vehicles a year. Cars, trucks, SUVs, we run them all, and the numbers always tell a story. With that in mind we present "Track Tested," a quick rundown of all the data we collect at the track, along with comments direct from the test drivers. Enjoy. 

For 2011, BMW announced an almost across-the-board replacement of the fan-favorite N54 twin-turbo inline-6 with the single, twin-scroll turbocharged N55 motor. And while the standard-issue 335 joins the ranks of N55 converts, the hi-po 2011 BMW 335is retains the twin-turbo motor, but bumps turbo boost from 8.7 to 11.6 psi. It also has an intercooled and overboost function that lets the twin-turbos spool up 14.5 psi for as long as 7 seconds, raising the torque from 332 pound-feet at 1,500 rpm to 370.

But this power comes at a price: This test unit rings up at $57,450 -- nearly $1,000 less than a 2011 BMW M3 coupe, and $2,500 more than an M3 sedan. So, is it worth it?

Vehicle: 2011 BMW 335is Coupe

Odometer: 2,612
Date: 10/26/2010
Driver: Chris Walton
Price: $57,450

Drive Type: Rear-wheel drive
Transmission Type: Six-speed manual
Engine Type: Inline-6
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 2,979/181.8
Redline (rpm): 7,000
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 320 @ 5,900 rpm
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 332 @ 1,500 rpm ( 370 with overboost function)
Brake Type (front): 13.7-inch ventilated discs with single-piston sliding calipers
Brake Type (rear): 13.3-inch ventilated discs with single-piston sliding calipers
Suspension Type (front): MacPherson strut, coil springs, stabilizer bar
Suspension Type (rear): Multilink, coil springs, stabiizer bar

Wheel size 18-by-8 inches front -- 18-by-8.5 inches rear
Tire Size (front): 225/40R18 88W
Tire Size (rear): 255/35R18 90W
Tire Brand: Bridgestone
Tire Model: Potenza RE050A I
Tire Type: Summer Performance
As tested Curb Weight (lb): 3,510

Test Results:
0-30 (sec): 2.0
0-45 (sec): 3.5
0-60 (sec): 5.0
0-75 (sec): 7.3
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 13.3 @ 104.6
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 4.7
30-0 (ft): 27
60-0 (ft): 111
Slalom (mph): 67.2 (66.0 stability control on)
Skid Pad Lateral acceleration (g): 0.91g ( 0.85g stability control on )

Db @ Idle: 46.9
Db @ Full Throttle: 92.8
Db @ 70 mph Cruise: 72.4

Acceleration: I thought I had the best run in the bag, but tried a more clutch-intensive launch and found nearly 3/10ths from 0-30 that carried on. A couple botched 1-2 shifts revealed that it doesn't like to be hurried -- too bad, they never used to care. I like the raspy new exhaust, but wish the shift lever was taller and the seat was lower and the steering wheel telescoped. Minimal heat sink.

Braking: Solid pedal, undramatic and fade-free stops from first to fifth. Typical BMW 3 Series here.

Handling: Skid pad: Excellent adjustability and balance, and plenty of grip but there's stubborn understeer at the limits. Steering weight is welcome and it's also precise as expected. With ESC on, the brakes begin dabbing well below the ultimate limit.

Slalom: This car has a singular slalom technique and minor deviations from it (though entertaining and rewarding) ultimately result in a slower pass. So, it wants/demands a very tight and tidy line, close to the cones, with "maintenance" throttle. With ESC on, the car ceases to rotate and as a result is slower, less entertaining and less rewarding.

And for reference:

BMW M3 Sedan
BMW M3 Coupe
0 - 30 (sec):
0 - 45 (sec):
0 - 60 (sec):
0 - 75 (sec):
1/4 Mile (sec @ mph):
12.9 @ 109.8
12.7 @ 112.1
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec):
30 - 0 (ft):
60 - 0 (ft):
Braking Rating:
Very Good
Slalom (mph):
Skid Pad Lateral acceleration (g):

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