2015 BMW M235i Convertible
Contrary to the belief that performance convertibles don’t work to well, BMW has come out with the 2015 BMW M235i Convertible, possibly the manufacturer’s best possible chance of success in this guise, fitting in an upgraded 3.0-litre turbo engine and a 6-speed manual gearbox. At 240kW and 450Nm there is no lack of motivation at all from the front end of things.
During a fast drive on the freeway, more noise gets through the convertible’s fabric roof. And if you attempt to travel too quickly over a rough surface, then there is some slight structural shake, especially when the roof is down. According to BMW figures, the convertible is heavier than the coupe. The extra mass has made this convertible less nimble than the fleet-footed coupe, but it’s still an absolute blast to drive hard over a favourite road. Unlike most of M’s recent offerings, the M235i doesn’t have a sensation-sapping abundance of adhesion, but rather a perfect balance between power and grip.
It’s good as a convertible, too. Stowing the M235i’s roof feels particularly right. The 228i convertible’s exhaust note sounds like digestive discomfort under gentle use, but the M235i’s six-cylinder produces a rowdy soundtrack that matches the car perfectly. Even as the new X6 M threatens to trigger an existential funk about the very future of the performance car, here is welcome proof that the M division can still make a great car.
No mention was made on when we can expect this nifty vehicle on South Africa’s shores.