A nifty step up in total performance from the revised 2011 335i Coupe and Convertible announced earlier, BMW has just revealed details on its upcoming BMW 335is models. Created exclusively for the North American market and slotting in above the 335i but below an M3, this latest brace of "s-spec" two-doors offers edgier styling to match their extra measure of quickness while maintaining a welcome degree of real-world affordability.
Visually, these new 335is models build on cosmetic updates that will be found on their 2011 328i/335i counterparts but add unique M Sport enhancements. These functional aero tweaks include distinctive front/rear fascias and side sills complemented by more aggressively configured front intakes that expedite airflow to supplemental water and oil coolers as well as a lift-reducing rear diffuser. Rounding out the mix is a host of lesser cosmetic accents and special 18-inch light-alloy wheels finished in Ferric Grey. Inside, the M Sport motif continues, bringing a dedicated steering wheel, more supportive seats, stainless-steel sport pedals and a footrest as well as an anthracite headliner, distinctive "M" door-sill plates and the requisite "335is" badging.
The heart of these new 335is models -- and key point of divergence from the newly revamped 335i variants -- is found underhood. Where the 2011 335i will use BMW's new N55 inline-six engine with a twin-scroll single-turbo force-feeding setup that's rated at 300 horsepower and 300 lb.-ft. of torque, the 335is retains the twin-turbo N54 six currently fitted in the 2010 335i. However, for this "s" upgrade, output has been bumped from 300 ponies to 320 and peak torque elevated from 300 to 332 lb.-ft. on a sustained (1,500-5,000 rpm) basis with a temporary max of up to 370 lb.-ft. possible under high-load conditions.
Although a six-speed manual transmission will be standard issue, these new 335is models will be the first 3 Series sold in the U.S. with an available seven-speed Double Clutch Transmission (DCT), BMW's automated manual that also includes a Launch Control feature. According to BMW, the 335is Coupe will sprint 0-60 mph with either gearbox in 5.0 seconds with the 335is Convertible needing just 5.2 ticks to hit that mark. No EPA numbers as yet, but they're expected to be almost the same as the standard 2011 335i models. As for their other key stats, the 2011 BMW 335is Coupe will base at $50,525 and the Convertible will open at $59,075 when they arrive in showrooms this spring. That will put them about $7K over their baseline 335i kin, but roughly $10K under an M3 alternative.