Though the 3-Series sedan recently received a complete redesign, the current 3-Series convertible and coupe will solider on unchanged for the time being. Even with their aging designs, the two-door 3-Series models still provide communicative steering, athletic engines and one of the best ride/handling balances in the business.
Internally known as the BMW E92, the 3-Series Coupe offers the performance and luxury of the sedan in a more stylish two-door package. Two models were initially offered on the E92 for North America -- the 328i and the 335i, but now there is a new 335is trim level in addition to convertible variants in the mix as well.
The 335i has a new 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder with a single twin-scroll turbocharger, high-precision fuel injection, and an all-aluminum crankcase, pushing the car to 60 mph in just 5.3 seconds. The motor produces 300 horsepower at 5800 rpm. Peak toque is 300 pound-feet, available from a mere 1,200 rpm all the way up to 5,000 rpm.
The N55 replaces the old twin-turbo N54 unit of the same displacement. The new N55 single turbo setup produces the same peak power but with a lower starting torque curve, as well as better fuel efficiency and reduced emissions.
The 335i is joined in the U.S. by the 230 horsepower 328i Coupe, which hits 60 mph in 6.2 seconds, making it quicker than the previous top-of-the-line 330Ci.
Fuel economy is rated at 19/28 city/highway mpg with the manual and 18/28 with the automatic for both engines.
All-wheel-drive can be added to both the 335i and 328i for extra traction.
For those seeking even more performance, the 335is offers a bump from 300, to 320 horsepower. When combined with the new Double Clutch Transmission (DCT), which offers seven speeds, the 335is is capable of a zero-to-60 jaunt of just five seconds flat. The 335is uses a N54 turbocharged 3.0-liter V6, good for 332 lb-ft of torque to go along with its 330 horsepower. Fuel economy checks in at 18/26 mpg with the stick and 17/27 mpg with the dual-clutch 'box.
Outside, the 3-Series Coupe gets new front and rear fascias, as well as standard Xenon headlamps. The new fascias create slightly longer overhangs -- a bit over one inch up front and a scant tenth of an inch out back.
Traditional rear-wheel drive and a near 50:50 front-to-rear weight distribution give the coupe great handling on the road and even on the track. A high performance brake system comes with oversized rotors ensures quick stopping.
The car has double-pivot front suspension with spring struts made almost entirely of aluminum in combination with a five-link suspension at the rear. The 3-Series Coupe comes with Dynamic Stability Control and optional Active Steering -- a system that adjusts the steering ratio, steering angle and power assistance to the speed of the car.
The frontal, hip, side airbags along with curtain-type Head Protection System, belt latch tensioners and belt force limiters are activated by sensor-controlled electronics based on the type and severity of a collision.
Competitors looking to steal sales away from the 3-Series Coupe include the Infiniti G37 Coupe, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe, the Audi A5 and the Cadillac CTS Coupe.