After getting a chance to drive the BMW M235i earlier this year, we mentioned our regret at not being able to sample the lighter and less powerful 228i Coupe. We'd like to have seen how close the latter could get to the former, noting that "there's a lot of room for upgrades with the $11,000 retail difference." BMW is closing that performance gap slightly, announcing that a Track Handling Package will join the options sheet for the 2015 228i Coupe.

The group bolts on Variable Sport Steering, Adaptive M Suspension and M Sport Brakes behind new 18-inch lightweight wheels wearing Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires. There's no change to the 240-horsepower four-cylinder, but a coupe so equipped should be able to do plenty more with the horses it has thanks to a faster steering rack, sharper handling due to additional sensors and a ten-millimeter drop in ride height, and larger brakes and discs.

BMW has used the New York Auto Show as a venue to introduce the new Track Handling Package, and it will roll onto showroom floors in July and pricing will be announced sometime between now and then. Takers can get it with both the six-speed manual and eight-speed Sport Automatic, see it in the high-res image gallery above, and read about it in the press release below.
Show full PR text
The BMW 228i Coupe with Track Handling Package

Race track-inspired focus for The Ultimate Driving Machine®.


Woodcliff Lake, NJ – April 14, 2014. . . BMW announced today the availability of the all-new Track Handling Package for the 2015 BMW 228i Coupe. Inspired by the original formula of BMW "S-package" vehicles manufactured in the course of the past three decades, the new Track Handling Package embraces the desires of the most enthusiastic BMW drivers. It includes the Adaptive M Suspension, Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires on unique 18-inch light-alloy wheels , Variable Sport Steering, and M Sport Brakes. The package will be available from July 2014 (production) for both 6-speed manual and 8-speed Sport Automatic transmission-equipped BMW 228i Coupe models. The Track Handling Package may be added to any 228i Coupe during the vehicle ordering process. Pricing will be announced closer to the on-sale date.

A chassis that speaks to its driver: Adaptive M Suspension.
With a starting stance 10 millimeters lower than the suspension of a standard BMW 228i Coupe, lowering the car's center of gravity, the Adaptive M Suspension adds front axle and central accelerometers. These sensors gather data instantaneously and, when combined with data from the existing steering angle sensor, throttle position, and brake pressure sensors, form a comprehensive real-time profile of damping needs at all four corners to effectively read and adapt to the road. The valves of the dampers adapt in milliseconds to the conditions of the road and the wishes of the driver, minimizing vehicle squat, dive, and roll, to ensure the BMW 228i Coupe feels equally at home on a smooth canyon road, unusually rough surfaces, or during the daily commute. The desired suspension setting can be selected using the Driving Dynamics Control switch in the center console.

BMW Variable Sport Steering.
Long suggested to be part of the mythical black magic of balanced vehicle handling, BMW Variable Sport Steering employs a mechanical steering rack with a directness ratio that varies in a prescribed way throughout its range of travel. At steering angles near center (for example, when driving straight ahead), the ratio is slower, providing maximum vehicle stability for highway speeds and straight-aways. As the driver bends the car into a corner, the mechanical ratio of the steering rack becomes faster and provides the driver with precise, lightning-quick response for mid-corner adjustments to "the line." At extreme steering angles such as those required to negotiate a hairpin turn or during "opposite lock" maneuvers, the ratio is quickest.

M Sport Brakes system.
The M Sport Brakes system features fixed, four-piston calipers at the front axle and two-piston calipers at rear, with particularly large brake discs (front disc diameter 13.4 inch, rear 13.6 in. ). The calipers are painted dark blue and carry the M logo. Brake pads chosen for sharp responsiveness, long term thermal stability and linear pedal feel on the street are fitted at all four corners. In exchange, enthusiast customers likely won't mind that the pads of the M Sport Brakes emit slightly more dust under heavy use than the standard 228i Coupe brake pads.

Race-derived tire technology.
Ultra-high performance, non-run-flat Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires, similar to those featured on the BMW M235i Coupe, are also included with the Track Handling Package. Developed with technology transferred directly from years of world championship-level sports car racing in Europe and the United States, they provide superb feedback and the ideal balance between agility and stability. The Pilot Super Sport design places top priority on giving the BMW driver massive grip in both wet and dry conditions. Wider rear tires are used as an additional traction improvement measure. A BMW Mobility Kit is featured as standard equipment, as is 24-hour BMW Roadside Assistance for the first four years of vehicle service.

The 2015 BMW 228i with Track Handling Package will make its public debut at the 2014 New York International Auto Show.

BMW Group In America
BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since 1975. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003. The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and the Rolls-Royce brand of Motor Cars; DesignworksUSA, a strategic design consultancy in California; a technology office in Silicon Valley and various other operations throughout the country. BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group's global manufacturing network and is the exclusive manufacturing plant for all X5 and X3 Sports Activity Vehicles and X6 Sports Activity Coupes. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 339 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 139 BMW motorcycle retailers, 119 MINI passenger car dealers, and 35 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers. BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group's sales headquarters for North America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.

Information about BMW Group products is available to consumers via the Internet at: www.bmwgroupna.com


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  • 25 Comments
      ferps
      • 8 Months Ago
      Somewhere deep down inside, the old BMW is still there just trying to get out!
        Stridenttube
        • 8 Months Ago
        @ferps
        I think BMW will always have several models for the enthusiast. However I liked BMW better when everything was driver focused.
      Joey Franklin
      • 8 Months Ago
      I'm going to go drive the A3, 228i, and new WRX this weekend. I like the M sport 228i but this front end actually looks a little nicer to me than the big gaping air ducts on the Msport. Not sure i want all this adaptive suspension tech but willing to give it a try.
        cdrami
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Joey Franklin
        I'm thinking the same thing with the looks- I think this looks much nicer than the m235i front bumper+ducts
        ferps
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Joey Franklin
        if you aren't in a hurry to buy right away, you may also want to consider the GTI, which should be available in June.
        Matt
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Joey Franklin
        WRX is the clear winner among that group, although it does get atrocious fuel economy. You can buy a lot of gas wit the $5-$10k you'd save over an A3 or 228i though.
          Matt
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Matt
          GTI is the most practical, almost most efficient, cheapest, has the nicest interior, has available LSD, hatch practicality, etc. Only downside is that it's FWD, but apparently the LSD in the Performance Pack mitigates all the disadvantages of FWD.
          Joey Franklin
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Matt
          The performance pack and lighting pack will be my options, probably dsg because I do have some ankle/foot problems occasionally. Base S model in dark grey with some audi replica wheels most likely. I do like the golf sportwagen too but don't really need anything that big.
          bonehead
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Matt
          yes i was going to mention that the GTI shoudl be in consideration in that list. Sure its not AWD but its a great little car and the lease expensive and the most economical. Id been holding out for a 2015 WRX hatch, now im looking at a GTI
        cdrami
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Joey Franklin
        Also they got rid of that cheap-looking gray rear bumper piece. good job BMW!
      Andre Neves
      • 8 Months Ago
      "The ultimate driving machine" ... Oh I'm sorry sir, that's an option now.
      ksrcm
      • 8 Months Ago
      Let's see ... Variable Sport Steering -> dubious usability unless for autocross Adaptive M Suspension -> useless with proper, static 704 M sport suspension M Sport Brakes -> good for painting your wheels black, not much more new 18-inch lightweight wheels wearing Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires -> this is probably the best par of the packaget, although I thought you could have opted for non-RFT on any 2 series. Could be wrong. How about "Track Handling Package" for M235i BMW? You know ... where you can delete stupid moonroof that a) puts weight exactly in the last place you need it on the track b) makes car undrivable for taller people with helmet on?
        Snajim
        • 8 Months Ago
        @ksrcm
        There's already a no cost moon roof delete option for the M235i.
          ksrcm
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Snajim
          Thanks for pointing that out. When configurator first came online, I swear it wasn't an option. Very hapy camper right now! Munich, we'll see you May 2015 - can't wait!
        carguy1701
        • 8 Months Ago
        @ksrcm
        >M Sport Brakes -> good for painting your wheels black, not much more Excuse me?
          ksrcm
          • 8 Months Ago
          @carguy1701
          Brian, I meant the difference between checking option "M Sport Brakes" and simply getting M Sport Package. The confusion is for people who get M Sport Package/M Sport Line and then are offered a separate option of "M Sport Brakes". M Sport Package/M Sport Line (on F30) already gives you bigger brakes and wheels. Again, the difference seems to be colored calipers and more dust. Shrug ...
          ksrcm
          • 8 Months Ago
          @carguy1701
          Many people are still trying to figure out what is the difference on F30 chassis. Except for painted calipers and increased brake dust, there doesn't seem to be much difference.
          Brian Rautio
          • 8 Months Ago
          @carguy1701
          ksrcm, Do you mean on the 35i? I thought the 28i came with single piston brakes unless you upgrade to the M Sport Brakes which are four piston.
        Rick
        • 8 Months Ago
        @ksrcm
        Variable steering would be awesome for any non 60+ mph driving. You know, like in parking lots. M Suspension is even lower than Sport, I'm all for it. Nicely done calipers with logo on it versus grey, boring, stock calipers? Ah, yes please!
      snap_understeer_ftw
      • 8 Months Ago
      I hate to say this but this front bumper looks frumpy. It may looks better with *gasps* a license plate
      Kuro Houou
      • 8 Months Ago
      I just can't get over the cost of a 235i, about 44k starting!! I paid just a couple grand over that for a very well optioned out 335i just 6 years ago!! The engines are almost the exact same as then.. not sure what is justifying the high prices?? The 2 series is the old 3 series apparently.
        1STH
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Kuro Houou
        so what....the old 135 was waaaaaaaaaaaay more fun than the 335......so i'm pretty sure the current 235 is still wayyyyyy more fun than the bloated 335.
      brgtlm
      • 8 Months Ago
      The 228i is on my list of cars to drive before deciding on my next car. I'd like the M-Sport or Sport line model with sunroof, heated seats and HK stereo. Pretty basic and it still ran about $41-42K!
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