The recently announced BMW M235i Gran Coupe is the newest BMW to wear the M badge, but it hardly deserves it. The name might lead you to believe it’s a 4-door version of the devilishly quick M2 Competition Coupe, but it’s actually far from it. Though I wish I could, I can’t explain to you—or understand it myself—why BMW has two models that couldn’t be more different under the same name. Some more suitable names might be ‘M2 Jr. edition’, or perhaps ‘Diet M2 Gran Coupe.’
The M235i is based on the same front wheel drive platform as the new 1 series hatchback, but it will be available with all-wheel drive as well in the xDrive model. Yup, thats right—a BMW M model with a front wheel drive platform, and I’m not exaggerating when I say that’s sacrilegious. It’ll also have 306 horses under the hood and 331 pound feet of torque.
I use the word fraud for this car because basically, BMW took their 1 Series hatchback (not exactly the most sporty BMW) and tried to style it as best they could to resemble an M-branded car. The results are abysmal. It’s the most awkward looking BMW made this century. On the front is practically the same front fascia seen on the 1 series, but on the rear are thin, highly placed taillights that you’d see on other BMW M cars. The outcome is an altogether squished look that in no way looks attractive or muscular like a BMW M car should. The M235i’s cobbled together design simply doesn’t work, and I think it’ a bad look for BMW.
Fortunately for BMW fans, BMW has also unveiled the M8 Gran Coupe, a sporty sedan that’s more than worthy of the M badge. But for anyone that wants a lame looking, front wheel drive, fraudulent BMW M sedan, I guess the M235i is just for you.