Warmed-up M35i is first to highlight the brand’s 2.0-litre engine producing more than 300hp.
Haven’t they made one before?
The last time the M division of BMW fiddled around with a four-cylinder engine was in the late 1980s for the M3 coming in either 2.3- or 2.5-litre displacement.
Now they’re back with one, although BMW wishes to stress that this is the first time a model from the M Performance family to feature it. And the first to get it is the X2 sporty SUV tagged M35i.
The block is no other than the 2.0-litre petrol-turbo as used in some other BMWs and Minis, although modifications made to increase power make it a new development for the brand.
Are there two turbos?
The blown four-pot in the M35i uses the usual single-turbo setup with twin-scroll operation. The transmission is eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive.
Outputs are rated at 306hp and 450Nm. And when driven with the launch control on, the 0-100kph time is claimed at 4.9sec.
To cope with the increased levels of performance, the M35i gets stronger brakes, firmer suspension, two-level adaptive dampers and front-axle differential (the X2 sits on a platform designed for front-wheel drive format as well).
Bespoke design elements include grey-coloured casings for the air intakes, side mirrors and exhausts. There’s also an M-specific rear spoiler, apart from new M Sport seats inside.
Can it cope with the GLA45?
No it can’t, because the M35i isn’t actually a full-fat M model from the M Automobiles clan.
The Mercedes-AMG GLA45 features 381hp of 2.0-litre petrol-turbo power and goes from 0-100kph in a quicker 4.4sec. Speaking of that, the next-generation model is set to spawn a circa-300hp GLA35 by 2020 to directly rival the M35i for those finding the GLA45 too excessive.
And since the GLA45 currently asks for 4.84 million baht in Thailand, the M35i can’t exceed that price level – should the Thai BMW office think about selling it in the country.
The number of models from M Performance is still limited to just the M760Li in local showrooms. Global sales of the X2 M35i start in March next year.