What is it?
The new 3-series coupe, fitted with an uprated version of the twin-turbo diesel engine from the 535d (now with 427lb ft and 282bhp).
What's it like?
Quick. Unless you have iron resolve, this oh-so-tremendously worthy diesel coupé will get you into more trouble than you know how to get out of. The 335d simply demolishes any acceleration interval below three figures – and doesn’t let up much thereafter.
It’ll rev in a very undiesel-like way – a pleasant attribute, but not particularly relevant. The engine’s real weapon is the sledgehammer effect of all that torque through the mid-range and the hushed manner in which it is delivered. The turbo petrol 335i would ultimately be faster, but in a real-world test the diesel is easier to drive quickly, whether intentionally or by accident.
This is partly because the diesel is only available with BMW’s retuned six-speed automatic, which sweeps gearchanges past almost unnoticed and gives you very little against which to benchmark your rapidly escalating speed. Choosing between the petrol and the slightly more expensive diesel is difficult, because both engines perfectly complement the svelte new 3-series coupé.
There isn’t even much difference on the scales – just 30kg, which is not enough to make a discernible difference to the handling on our test. Nor are there any significant distinguishing visual clues; no downturned diesel exhausts here, just two chromed pipes like the turbo petrol.