This car does not have a limited slip differential which is another difference from the E82 1M and yet another argument for the letter M standing for marketing. Or possibly money, as extra money will get you a limited slip differential. Ok now let's get to the stuff Car and Driver likes.
They seem to dig the 320 horsepower and 330 lb-ft of torque 3.0 liter inline-6 turbocharged N55 motor. The performance certainly supports their impressions with 0-60 in 4.3 seconds and the 1/4 mile taking 12.9 seconds at 109 miles per hour. Not quite E92 M3 (Car and Driver recorded a 12.7 @ 114 1/4 mile for the manual E92 M3) or E82 1M performance but close enough.
Despite the lack of the limited slip differential on this test car it managed .94g on the skidpad. Good grip although this does not show capability in transitions on a roadcourse. Car and Driver for whatever reason does not do a slalom test.
They conclude their review by saying you get 100% of the E92 M3's performance for 2/3's the price which is just... well, wrong. It is also just kind of stupid to say. Their own testing shows the M3 to be faster especially at speed and obviously on a race track it would handily beat the F22 M235i (without going into limp mode). The naturally aspirated V8 engine is also more responsive and the E92 M3 is only 27 pounds heavier. Yes, the M235i is not much lighter with a curb weight of 3525 pounds.
If one starts adding in options (like a limited slip differential) the M235i is no longer 2/3's the price. It does not offer 100% of the outgoing M3's performance but it does offer a package that offers great fun factor at a reasonable price point which is what a BMW is supposed to do. BMW's are supposed to be well balanced (the M235i is a little nose heavy at 52.7 of its weight on the front) and fun to drive cars with all around capability. The M235i somewhat gets back to that. It's a shame the other models in the lineup have strayed so far from this formula.