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Thread: BMW M235i Racing - New top sports car for the “Green Hell”.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Fort Lauderdale, FL.
    My Cars
    2017 M3 Sedan

    BMW M235i Racing - New top sports car for the “Green Hell”.

    BMW Motorsport is expanding its range of cars within the BMW Sports Trophy Customer Racing programme.

    “The basis our engineers had to start with when developing the racing version of the BMW M235i Racing was exceptionally good,” said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “The production models from the BMW M Performance Automobiles range are already incredibly sporty. Because of this, we did not have to make many modifications in order to get the BMW M235i Coupé up and running as a racing car. BMW Motorsport can look back on a long tradition of allowing ambitious teams and drivers an affordable way into motor racing – and of offering them an absolutely competitive car. That was the case recently with the BMW M3 GT4, and that is now being superseded with the BMW M235i Racing. While the BMW Z4 GT3 spearheads our range, the new car means we are now also excellently positioned for the coming years in the field of production-based racing cars.”

    The motorsport genes are also easily recognisable in the production version of the BMW M235i Coupé, courtesy of the aerodynamically optimised body design. It is propelled by the most powerful petrol engine developed so far for a BMW M Performance Automobile: a six-cylinder in-line engine with M Performance TwinPower Turbo technology. With a capacity of 2,979ccm, the racing version is capable of generating 333hp (245kW).
    Motorsport-specific driving aids such as ABS, DSC and traction control ensure that the motorsport newcomers can also handle the BMW M235i Racing surely and safely. The car also comes with mechanical limited-slip differential, which is also available for the BMW M235i Coupé in the original BMW Parts range. The racing car is also fitted with features such as the FIA-certified safety cell and the modern safety tank. On top of this come components from the BMW M Performance Parts range, such as the rear and front spoilers, diffusor and carbon wing mirrors.

    Technical Data BMW M235i Racing.

    Max. width: 1,862mm (without mirrors)
    Wheelbase: 2,691mm
    Height: 1,380mm (without antenna)
    Max. track: 1,608mm
    Engine: six-cylinder in-line
    Capacity: 2,979ccm
    Output: 333hp (245kW)
    Let me get this straight... You are swapping out parts designed by hundreds of engineers that get paid thousands of dollars for something you bought at Pep Boys because your buddy who doesn't have a job told you it was 'better'?!?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    la Praga
    My Cars
    1992 535i E34

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Huntington Beach, Ca.
    My Cars
    02 M3 SMG
    When the word about this car came out, everybody was telling me "Scott, you need one of those". My answer was always "I already have something better". After inquiring about the car with BMW in Munich and finally seeing the car on track at Oktoberfest, my answer is still that I already have something better.

    Will Turner brought one to O'fest at New Jersey and working with BMW and Club Racing was able to get the classed as H-Prepared (even though the car clearly has Mod class modifications and was on slicks). That accomplished two things: it allowed a car that did not fit well into any BMW Club Racing class to run in a class by itself and not affect the standings/points for any other racer. It also allowed the car to run in the 'slow' group where the fastest cars were I-Sport e36 M3's and a Spec e46 car on R-comp tires (and Will Turner is not exactly a slouch behind the wheel). So my first impression is that it's a really slow car for somebody to spend $80K plus tax and destination charges.

    But getting a field win in the O'fest slow group with an N54/N55 engine is something we've already done with a 2008 135i that was still street registered/insured. Twice - in 2008 in the rain at Watkins Glen and in 2011 at Barber. In a car that I drove across the country.

    It is a good looking race car and on the plus side, what would somebody be getting for their approx. $90K? Well, they would be getting a beautifully built turn-key race with high quality components on it. So no hassle of trying to built a fast, cost effective car from scratch starting with a used street car. They would also be getting a heavy car (over 3100 lbs. without driver) with no real aero on it. They would also be getting a car that does not fit well into existing race classes in the US. For BMW Club Racing, it has Modified class improvements on it, but the buyer would have to spend a lot of money on top of the $80K plus in order to make the car Mod class fast. The same problem for running in NASA GTS classes. It has too much power and weight to be good where cars are classed by weight/power ratios. Pro racing would be a possibility (Like Pirelli World Challenge) where the final cost of a pro race car may make that price for a factory prepared turn key car a good starting point (and maybe that is what Will Turner is looking at now that TMS is racing in PWC).

    But for the amateur racer in the US, the car as built would need to race in a special class just for that car like they have in the VLN series in Germany. From what I hear, BMW plans to bring 100 in the US. Is that enough, once the cars are spread around the country, to have any decent number of them in any one race at a time? And I doubt all 100 are going to show up at the dock at the same time. In between selling cars to VLN teams, cars will have to become available for the US market. There are probably already over 100 Spec e46 cars built or being built right now. BMW could be planning something along the lines of what VW did some years ago with the Spec Jetta series that VW themselves operated (which were not really good race cars that were also very slow).

    I have no doubt that there are enough BMW faithful out there to buy 100 of those cars, even if they intend to do nothing more than put them in a warehouse and look at them. But for an amateur racer in the US that doesn't need to be able to brag about having a BMW factory built race car, there is definitely better racing to be had for the money.
    02 M3 SMG - prepared class BMW Club racer
    08 135i - stock class BMW Club racer
    photo gallery


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