Eric's Autos: 2019 BMW M35i
Why sell the same basic car two different ways?
Well, first of all, you make it not quite the same in order to appeal to two different buyers. This is why, for several decades, GM sold two versions of the Chevy Camaro -- the other being the Pontiac Firebird. They were similar but not identical, like fraternal twins.
The Camaro was the value proposition; it cost less and was more basic in terms of its amenities, but you got a lot of performance and style for your dollar.
The Firebird offered a more upscale experience under the Pontiac label, as well as a much larger engine in the high-performance Trans-Am version.
Both sold very well, because they complemented each other rather than competed with each other.
Today, on the same principle, you can buy the Mini Cooper Countryman or get the same basic thing in a more upscale package with a much stronger engine: the BMW X2 M35i.
What It Is
The M35i is basically a Mini Countryman with the optional John Cooper Works (JCW) performance enhancements but enhanced even more and dressed in BMW sheet metal.
They are compact five-door wagons built by the same parent company (BMW owns Mini) and share a common under-the-skin platform, or basic architecture. And they're powered by the same basic 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine.
But the BMW version of the four-cylinder is packing 302 horsepower versus the JCW Countryman's 228. The BMW also comes standard with all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic, whereas the Mini comes with optional AWD and a standard manual transmission.