Comparison: BMW Z4 sDrive35is vs Audi TTS

BMW Z4 | December 14th, 2009 by 42
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These days, it’s less about who makes what car and what company doesn’t make that car, because, pretty much, everyone makes the same kind of …

These days, it’s less about who makes what car and what company doesn’t make that car, because, pretty much, everyone makes the same kind of car. It now comes down to which one you’d rather have. Sure, we’re BMWBLOG, I’d rather have the Z4 sDrive35is. But the Audi TTS is a darn nice car. It drives well, looks great, handles very well, and the interior is gorgeous. But truth is that this isn’t a showdown of which one we like better. It’s a numbers game. And it’s a game where you guys pick the winner.

To start off, the Audi TTS has been on the market a year already. It’s been shown as Audi’s answer to the more performance style of the Porsche Cayman and Boxster, along with BMW’s Z4. It comes in either coupe or convertible. It has a direct-injected, turbocharged 2.0L 4-cylinder making 265hp at 6000 rpm and 258lb-ft of torque between 2500-5000 rpm. Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive is standard, and the only way you can option the TTS. It comes with S tronic automanual only, and does well with an Audi claimed 0-60 of 4.9 seconds for the coupe and 5.1 seconds for the convertible, respectively. With a curb weight of just 3,241lbs, the Audi is actually pretty light on its feet.

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Next we have the newcomer, the BMW Z4 sDrive35is. While we have seen the Z4 sDrive35i for a year now, the sDrive35is is all new, with the award winning 3.0L twin-turbo I-6 now making 335hp at 5900 rpm and 332lb-ft of torque 1500-4500 rpm, or a peak of 369lb-ft with the Overboost function. Overboost is variable and fully automatic and is actually used more in the tall gears (4-7) than the shorter gears and gives an extra boost of torque, or 37lb-ft to be exact. Of which the new Z4 will cross that line in 4.7 seconds, according to BMW. BMW has also added direct-fuel injection to the inline-6 to help with power without compromising fuel efficiency or emissions. Its curb weight is exactly the same as the sDrive35i when equipped with DCT, 3450 lbs.

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The new BMW Z4 sDrive35is comes only equipped with the 7-speed DCT transmission.

Both cars come with an dual-clutch transmission standard. The BMW’s being 7-speeds, while the Audi does just fine with its 6 forward gears. Both are also operated via the gearshift or a set of up and down paddles on the steering wheel.

One very interesting thing that BMW has incorporated in the new Z4 sDrive35is, is Brake Energy Regeneration, which helps to add power back to the motor during braking periods to give a helpful surge when your foot is reapplied to the power pedal. Audi does not offer this technology on the TTS.


The Audi TTS offers S Magnetic Ride with 10mm (0.4 inches) lower ride height to help improve handling and balance. BMW has a similar system with its DDC, or Dynamic Damping Control. The Z4 also has a 10mm lower ride height to improve balance and handling. Both systems allow you to enhance the performance characteristics of the suspension with the push of a button, which comes in handy when you want to head down some back roads to see what your car will do.

All-in-all, it comes down to which car you’d rather have. While some of us on here are BMW fans, others are Audi fans just eying up the competition. Both cars are made to be the perfect balance of performance and comfort, without ever sacrificing their German heritage.


One thing that is good to mention is, the BMW only comes in hardtop convertible form, while the Audi comes in coupe or convertible. To some people that’s very important. There are drawbacks to having a hardtop convertible, as is having a cloth convertible, or even a standard coupe. Some people like putting the top down, but they’re afraid of all of the mechanical things that could possibly go wrong. Some people don’t like a standard cloth top, because they tend to need replacing and fixing up after a number of years. Also, there is always the threat of someone using a knife to cut their way into your car. And then when you have just a standard hardtop with no folding roof, well, I think you can see where I’m going with this one already.

[poll id=”45″]

42 responses to “Comparison: BMW Z4 sDrive35is vs Audi TTS”

  1. Jordan says:

    i’m willing to bet the sDrive35is goes quicker than 4.7s 0-60!

  2. gg says:

    Hardly comparable are they? The Z4 has 80hp which despite its heavier weight will give it far stronger performance. Perhaps you should compare the TT-RS and this new 35is. While the BMW isnt a full on M model i think the comparison would be fairer as they both have similar price tags and almost identical power levels and stated performance.

    • gg says:

      Should correct myself, i meant the Z4 has 80hp “more”.

    • Horatiu says:

      We only compared them since they are both being offered in US. A Z4is vs TT-RS will follow

      • Saleem says:

        Horatio this was a Good comparison. Did you get my email about the Bmw M3 and the Audi S4 ?

        • Saleem says:

          Sorry I meant Horatiu.

        • Horatiu B. says:

          I did, working on it. Even though remember, the M3 goes against the RS4 and not S4

          • LWKH says:

            The audi RS is an M waanabe. So it makes sense to compare BMW’s “is” with Audi’s S. The fact that they are in the price range with BMW having a bigger and more economical engine shows you that you always get more (actually the best) from BMW.

            This is not an M model, so comparing it to the TTS is absolutely perfect. In my opinion, there is abosolutely no areas where the BMW does not outperform the Audi with the exception of the extra two seats for one small dog at the back of the TT. So unless you intend to take your sausage dog for joy rides in your TT, the Z4 should be the clear choice. But if I had a sausage dog, I am sure it’d be much happier lying in the passenger foot well than the back of the lady like TT.

          • ferrarifan says:

            hi, here’s a comparison of the s4 and m3 coupe.. on a straight line, although chipped.


          • :p says:

            Too bad the RS4 isnt sold inside the US. THe M3 would finally have a car to compete to. Well other than the C63 AMG.

  3. wazon8 says:

    I would be thankful, if you compare Z4 sDrive35is with TT-RS. Taking cards of both cars they have very similar performance and it would be interesting to see which is better in other aspects such as track performance and everyday driving.

    • LWKH says:

      The audi RS is an M waanabe. So it makes sense to compare BMW’s “is” with Audi’s S. The fact that they are in the price range with BMW having a bigger and more economical engine shows you that you always get more (actually the best) from BMW.

      This is not an M model, so comparing it to the TTS is absolutely perfect.

  4. viper says:

    Z4 looks like a lil viper , I like Z4 ,

  5. Eric says:

    Why didn’t they compare with the TT-RS? It has the same HP as the Z4 above!
    Anyway, i voted for the Z4 because it’s much more luxerious than the harder TT.

  6. Bryce says:

    The biggest problem I have with the Z4 is that there isn’t a coupe model. I still like the Z4 more, but it sure would be nice to have a coupe to compete with the Audi and the Cayman, instead of trying to find some middle ground between the Cayman and the Boxster or between the TT Coupe and TT Convertible.

    • XC says:

      Exactly my thoughts. I love the pure lines of a coupe past and present… (Aston Martins, Alfa Romeo 8C, Ferrari 250GT SWB, Ferrari 365 GTB, Jaguar E-Type, BMW own 503 etc. etc.), and I still like the previous Z4 coupe a lot. I think that this new Z4 is a beautiful beautiful car, Aston Martin-beautiful. It would just be great to have such a beauty as a coupe; besides its interior is very elegant and classy. I bet it would steal a big share of 911’s market!

  7. E92-TORONTO says:

    OMG Why compare to TTS, should be TT-RS.

    Anyhow, Z4 sDrive35is eat TT-RS for lunch.

  8. viper says:

    the 19” on Z4 rule….

  9. 100$ GUY says:

    Apart from the kid trying to draw attention, pretty nonsense and very childish….
    lets move on shall we?

    I`ll say that I like more the audi`s exterior from every angle than the z4, but interior wise I like more the bmw, and in the perfomance category hands down the winner is the z4.
    So in the end I choose the zed.

    • LWKH says:

      TT looks like a toy car that I can kick around. To me, it makes the same statement as the VW Beetle – advertised usng flower paintwork. (maybe that’s why most women drve them)

      The Z4 comes across as a more formal, serious sports roadster that is suitable for every occasion. It is also not femanine, unlike the TT’s shape, even with those ugly jaws (bumpers) that the designers put on the S and RS models to try to make them look sportier.

  10. _Auday_ says:

    As the Blog organizer said many times, this blog has an open posting policy, it assumes that people are mature enough to respect that and dont abuse the trust.

    Viper,I dont know how old you are, but I guess you should be over 18 since you apparently drive cars, so please be mature and respect people who post on this blog. I’m asking you… PLEASE man!

    It’s totally ok to criticize BMWs as much as you want they are not perfect and in the end nothing is … but talking non-sense and episodes like the one above is a total abuse of a public site.

    I understand you like Mercs and they are great cars, better or worse than BMW here and there and it’s ok to show your passion about Mercs but please respect others and be civilized to respect and appreciate the freedom given to you by letting you write whatever you want.

    IJust imagine you have an open party at your home where you openly invite all people in the neighborhood, and one of the guests try to screw up your party and insult your other guests, how would you feel about that?

    Thank you

    • Horatiu B. says:

      Thank you, great words.

      We hate to ban people or comments, we leave an open door, but this has to stop. Everything can argue back and forth with arguments and facts, but no insults, swearing, racism, etc…We’ll not tolerate that even if we risk to lose readers.

  11. viper says:

    Horatio Im asking you nicely to ban this balkan retard , make a forum out of this blog , everyone should get their name and pass and points for ban , Im sick of this bullshit

    • Horatiu B. says:

      I can’t make a forum, that defeats the purpose of this online magazine and we’ve built for years. We’re something different and hence why we’ve been innovators and not followers. I will contact him via email and if he doesn’t stop, we will ban him

  12. Jordan says:

    wow…. this is one of the most messed up, outlandish and immature conversations I’ve ever seen on a blog. it’s ridiculous.

  13. klier says:

    Why isn’t the car compared to the TT RS instead of the TT S? RS is in the same power range, TT S certainly not.

  14. The Lee says:

    Aesthetics: While I do thoroughly love the style of the new Z4, that Audi is absolutely stunning to look at. In fact, pretty much all of the current Audi lineup is, especially in S/RS trim. I hate the fact that BMW only makes the Z4 in a ‘vert. I don’t want a convertible. I don’t want the hassle of the additional mechanisms, seals, weight, etc. The fact that Audi at least offers a real hard top seals the deal on this category for them.

    Performance: Obviously the win here goes to BMW. Aside from the power/0-60 differences, I don’t want my roadster/coupe to be AWD or a 4 cylinder (turbo or no turbo). I want RWD tail-out happy tire-smoking fun time, not AWD OMFG understeer crash into a tire wall time.

    Reliability: Tough call. I’m more familiar with BMW mechanics, so my initial reaction is to stick with what I’m more comfortable around. That being said, VAG has been using that 2.0L turbo for quite some time and does have a pretty solid reputation of reliability. BMW’s N5X engines are proving to hold up pretty well too (aside from a bunch of idiots that have been slapping eBay crap parts on them), so I’ll call this one a draw.

    Final verdict: The TT-S is gorgeous. If you could give me that body wrapped around BMW’s turbo I-6 and RWD, I’d probably go into some automotive-bliss-induced coma. I just don’t know that the beautiful shell is enough to compensate for understeer and a 4 cylinder. My BMW Fanboy vote, then, must obviously go to the Z4. I just wish they made it in a standard coupe…

  15. Coupe says:

    BMW Z4 M e86….

  16. XC says:

    I reckon that the only car I’ve actually considered to hold against my beloved BMWs is the Audi TT. It is no doubt a beautiful car (I actually thought once that the only thing that was missing in the TT was a BMW emblem!) But there are certain things that prevented me from buying a TT, and among them it’s overall quality. When sitting at the nicely designed Audi cockpit, I noticed that certain plastics are not that good, the roof liner is the same you find in low price VWs, and I felt somehow uncomfortable in that sitting position; I mean in a BMW your hands and feet sort of ‘fall’ exactly where they have to; the same feeling I get from Porsches, for example… and maybe I am too used to have the speedo on the left and the tachometer on the right, but that detail (having the opposite layout in the Audi) kind of annoyed me. I felt ill at ease. One other thing is that some surfaces feel somehow ‘plastiqy’ and their leathers have a vinyl-like feel (and shine). Things that you won’t find even on a 1 series. Also, when I took the demo car for a drive, I noticed that the leather didn’t have any smell at all -it was a brand new demo-, compared to the car sitting on the showroom, which had a rich leathery smell, and it wasn’t standing wear that well. The ride was kind of harsh, and last but not least, BMWs have some kind of well-oiled machine, mechanical, precise feeling when you drive them. I felt disconnected in the Audi. Those details are really minor, I know, but are somethings that matter to me.

    On the other hand, the new BMW z4 is beautifully designed, and the interior seems much more upscale than the Audi. In general, the new z4 is a much more mature car and looks and feels definitely more upscale and luxurious. Leather, plastics, metals and wood fit and finish are superb. I haven’t tried one yet, but I know BMWs… Since buying an Aston Martin is actually out of the question for me, I only wish BMW built a coupe version… I would buy a car like that ipso facto!

  17. bmw 4 evr says:

    sure the bmw rule cecouse first of all its heavier and has 2 extra seats than the audi and the differnce frm 0-60 is onli a 0.1 sec. also the audi is a AWD and the z4 is a rear wheel this make it pretty gd in making only a 0.1 sec with this weight and rear wheel drive.

  18. Steve TTS says:

    Of course BMW may have 80 more horsepower but when it comes to the maintainability differs. And also TTS give a remarkable mileage of 20 miles per gallon where the same is not possible if opted for BMW

  19. BETEP says:

    4.4s  :)

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