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      04-03-2021, 01:39 PM   #1
Just Apex It
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M235i: Would you buy again?

To those of you that track your M235i/M240i, would you still have bought the car with what you know now? All the track days, all the suspension work and other modifications, was it worth it? Or would you have just bought something entirely different? Currently in the market for a new car now that my M4 is sold and considering my options.
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      04-03-2021, 04:06 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Just Apex It View Post
To those of you that track your M235i/M240i, would you still have bought the car with what you know now? All the track days, all the suspension work and other modifications, was it worth it? Or would you have just bought something entirely different? Currently in the market for a new car now that my M4 is sold and considering my options.
No. For a modern fun trackday car (that can drive to the track), there's better options on the market now in a similar price range.

Especially the supra -- it's hands down better in every category you can think of. Lighter, space for okay tires, wider, lower, plus the B58TU1 stock for stock is a big step. Not to mention there were more aftermarket parts for it in the first month it came out than in the 7 years the 2er chassis has been out there.
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      04-03-2021, 06:30 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Just Apex It View Post
To those of you that track your M235i/M240i, would you still have bought the car with what you know now? All the track days, all the suspension work and other modifications, was it worth it? Or would you have just bought something entirely different? Currently in the market for a new car now that my M4 is sold and considering my options.
Yes. However, this is no track car; instead, it's a car you can have fun with at the track and still use for daily driving. My car is 3,432# with a half-tank of gas. For me that's way too much weight to have a great deal of fun while hunting tenths of a second.

I bought mine knowing I'd be putting a minimum of $12-15K into it to make it livable on the track. I also knew I'd be doing only 2-3 events for 2-3 years, and then I'd be done going to the track and would be enjoying the value of those mods on the street.

The M240i was an excellent choice for my use case. I went to the track for two years, and now I have a well put together street/track car that is much more car than it was when I bought it.

I don't daily drive (anything) and use the car mostly for backroad jaunts with plans for long road trips once they again make sense. I've always considered my M240i to be more of a GT car than anything else, and that's how I planned to use it long-term when I bought it.

If an M4 was in your budget, I'd recommend a Cayman if it fits your other needs, too. I'd look for the cheapest, lightest one I could find. I don't know if it's changed, but at one point they didn't come with LSDs.
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      04-03-2021, 08:00 PM   #4
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I've only done a couple track days so far in my M240i. I bought it for use as a daily, and to take a break from spending big bucks tracking my C7 Z06. Overall, I'm pretty happy with it. The powertrain is fantastic. I've never tracked an auto or DCT before. With this being a car for my girlfriend to drive also I chose the ZF auto. I've been manually shifting and 3,4,5 are great on the track.
The understeer is tough to deal with but expected. I've added M3 control arms & tension struts (Only $400 via Rock Auto) and that helped. I'm at -1.8/-1.9 camber up front, enough that I don't completely destroy the outside edges of the tires. I don't want to add camber plates for NVH reasons, so tire size is pretty limited. 255 on a 9' wheel won't fit, and that was my original plan. Looking hard for my next set of tires.
I don't have plans to add LSD either. I think that modding the car to that point just isn't cost effective. I think if a good deal for an LSD would come up I would rethink it. But why not just buy an M2 or M4 in the first place?

If I were purely hunting lap times vs $$$ I would buy an SS 1LE. They are just an unbelievable bang for the buck. They have the magnetic shocks that the C7 & C8 Corvettes have. The shocks are magical, car is set up great for the track. I also agree that a Cayman looks like a fantastic car on track. Prices are just crazy now though. A director at my company just bought a GT4, looks great.

Driving the M240 close to stock on the track seemed pretty disappointing. Then I watched Randy Pobst tear up Streets of Willow in an M235i. He's just amazing. I can't wait to get back on the track again.

Video of Randy on track is embedded in this article. He goes on track at 6:40.
https://www.motortrend.com/news/2014...t-on-ignition/


Edited to add: I was way too critical for being a newbie. I apologize to all who have spent the money on an LSD. There's no doubt that it take's a big step towards making this a real sports car. It just sucks that we have to pay $3K for something BMW could have done for under $1k from the factory. If they can paint our cars beautiful racing Estoril Blue and put 16 "M" badges on it, why not add LSD? Mustang, Toyobaru twins have them, C'mon it's a $50K car.

Last edited by fatsport; 04-05-2021 at 11:38 AM.. Reason: mea culpa
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      04-04-2021, 03:29 PM   #5
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I've only done a couple track days in my 235i, with a few mods. Its not a DD, nor it a track car, or a Garage queen, its a fun car.

Its a bit heavy but to be honest I wanted RWD, 6/8cyl and MT, and I got one with 24K for $30 only 3 years old (almost 2 years ago)...well and I liked the car. (Camaro wasnt option on looks TBH, and everyone has a Mustang)

How much do you want to spend ? Like Cayman/M2 monies ? Otherwise you are starting further behind 8ball and would have to dump monies. Just track ? find an old E46 and go lol. Or find a low mileage 16' M2 and a few mods and there.
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      04-07-2021, 07:40 PM   #6
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I keep looking around, and I have yet to find something I would rather own.

First, this is my only car, and a 99% daily driver. It's nice little GT car. Comfy, fast, and a surprising amount of utility. For the few track days I do, maybe 6 days a year, and at my experience level, it is enough car for me.

Do I want a Cayman, or an M2C, or a tuned BRZ/86 for better track times? Sure I do. And the M235 to M2 thread keeps running through my thoughts. But in the end, anything else would not be as good of a daily driver. I only have space, funds, and spousal approval for one car. And when my rational self can pull my dreams down to earth, well, again, I'm sticking with my M235 as the solid choice.

And frankly, with good tires and track pads, I'm still running with the lead intermediates, and nipping at the heels of many advanced drivers, and having a fantastic time. Until you get into high end things like a GT3, a plain stock M235 provides a lot of track value.
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