While at the new F10 5 Series launch in Portugal, BMW rolled out the 335is (a US specific model) for a few hot laps in an effort to get some press around the car. While we didn ‘t make the trek over there, our good friends at Autoblog had some time behind the wheel and have an initial review as result. It ‘s worth a read to get a sneak but also yet another view of the question many of us have been asking. With the M3 starting at only 8k more, the 335is really worth it?

Here ‘s an excerpt:

>Think of it this way: a 2010 M3 coupe starts at $58,400, to which you must add $875 for destination and a further $1,300 for gas guzzler taxes (a 2011 model has not yet been announced). Total cost? $60,575 – before options. Yes, the V8-powered M3 offers significantly more horsepower (414), but does so at a skyscraping 8,300 rpm and has a comparative dearth of torque – 295 vs. 332 pound-feet – and that ‘s without considering the 335i ‘s massive overboost. What ‘s more, the 335is ‘ full measure of twist is available from just 1,500 revs, while the M3 ‘s eight-pot needs to be spinning more than twice as fast at 3,900 rpm. Lest we forget, despite its carbon-fiber roof, it also weighs a smidge more.

>Don ‘t get us wrong – we love every inch of the M3 ‘s sniper-like precision – it remains a fantastic car and an unrivaled piece of trackday artillery. But out on the street, you really do have to rev the Mobil 1 out of the V8 in order for it to feel genuinely quick. That ‘s not to say that doing so is a chore, but for many drivers, the high-revving soundtrack can get tiresome on a day-in, day-out basis and the M3 ‘s care and feeding aren ‘t exactly cheap. The 335is offers club racer competence swathed in a more relaxed, more civilized package with comparable levels of real-world thrust – all while leaving a couple of vacations ‘ worth of coin in your bank account.

Look for a full BimmerFile review of the 335is this spring.

+ First Drive: BMW 335is / Autoblog