Introduced in October 2006 the Coupe was offered in 325i and 335i six cylinder guise.
The 335i is the top model thanks to its 3.0-litre twin turbo petrol engine that delivers a smooth 225 kW of power at 5,800 rpm and a massive 400 Nm of torque between 1,300 rpm - 5,000 rpm.
We were not so fortunate as to sample the 335i, but were satisfied with its sibling, the 325i Coupe.
The Coupe design is understated with aesthetic lines that are pure function and give minimal indication as to the latent performance that beckons. It retains the BMW DNA, with twin kidney grille, cats eye headlights and short front and rear overhangs. The bonnet is long and integrates into a sleek roofline that descends into the compact rear. Its athletic stance is enhanced by its perfect 50:50 weight balance which adds poise and balance to the driving experience.
Hop in and the cabin is comfortable and roomy, with seating that is first class. This car is designed for the driver and the perfect driving position is soon reached after adjusting the steering column for tilt and reach, and setting the seat height, rake, lumbar support and even the width of the backrest.
As befitting a luxury coupe, standard equipment for the 325i Coupé is extensive. It includes Bi-Xenon headlamps, LED tail lights, 17-inch alloy wheels, premium leather upholstery, BMW Business navigation system with colour monitor, six stacker CD player, rear park distance control, sport seats with electric adjustment and two memory settings for the driver, automatic climate control, and extended lights package for interior illumination, cruise control with brake function and Bluetooth mobile phone preparation.
From a safety perspective the 325i Coupé covers all the bases with Dynamic Traction Control, Dynamic Stability Control, Cornering Brake Control, Dynamic Brake Control and dual front airbags, dual side airbags and head airbags front and rear.
The 2.5-litre magnesium aluminium straight-six engine produces 160 kW of power at 6,500 rpm and 250 Nm of torque between 2,750 rpm and 4,000 rpm. The 325i Coupé accelerates to 100 km/h in just 6.9 seconds.
The 325i Coupé, optionally equipped with a six-speed Steptronic Automatic transmission, specially adapted for the Coupé models and upgraded to deliver shift times around 40 percent faster than before, is priced at $84,100. Further options include active steering, sport suspension, 18 or 19-inch light alloy wheels, comfort access, adaptive headlights, active cruise control, high beam assist and Logic7 sound system.
The 325i is fired at the push of the start button and the engine is well matched to the six-speed steptronic transmission. While the engine isn't the most powerful in its class, the sum of this car is greater than most and its handling and refinement are first class. It is equipped with BMWs iDrive system, which simply is not an intuitive system. It brings together a number of functions controlled by a central joystick with information displayed on a central monitor. For mind it is too clever by half.
The only real blemish I experienced on the 325i and later when driving the 320d, was the poor reception of the radio; it is as if BMW only expects the cars to be driven in tight knit urban areas, yet soon as I was 100kms from the CBD the radio quality became patchy and poor. The other contentious point is the lack of a full size spare wheel.
The Coupe requires attention when driving as the steering at highway speeds can be a little fidgety, but when leaving the tarmac the suspension is tuned superbly and never lacks composure. Upon leaving the city and tracking into the hills, it is a case of move the gear selector across into manual mode and let the fun begin.In sport mode the shifter is moved backward to upshift with short movements. Power is strong across the mid range and allows the driver to really explore the potential of this car. The 325i is a true sports luxury coupe and one that deserves its place on a pedestal. It is that good.
BMW 325i Coupe
Engine: 6-cyl. inline, multi-level induction petrol engine
Max Power: 160kW @ 6500rpm
Max torque: 250Nm @ 2750-4000rpm
Transmission: 6-speed auto with Steptronic
Suspension: Front - double joint spring-strut front axle; five-link rear suspension
Performance: Top speed 245km/h. 0-100km/h 7.6 seconds
Price: From $81,500.