Back in December of 2009, BMW introduced a new model in the Z4 family: sDrive35is. The new upgraded, more powerful Z4is went public at the Detroit Auto Show when the 2011 roadster opened the doors for more “is” performance oriented vehicles to come in the months. Yesterday, the Z4 35is made its European debut at the Leipzig Auto Show and our sister magazine, BimmerToday, was there to snap some new photos.
The sDrive35is carries under the hood an upgraded version of the popular N54 engine or in everybody’s language, the award winning six-cylinder 3.0 liter twin-turbo engine. The tuned up engine produces 335 horsepower (340hp in Europe) at 5,900 rpm and 332 lb-ft in “regular mode”. An electronically-controlled overboost function can briefly increase torque under full load by another 37 lb-ft. This brings the torque peak to 369 lb-ft.
Unofficial, preliminary numbers show that the 2011 BMW Z4 sDrive35is runs from 0 to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds. In comparison, the regular Z4 35i registers 0 to 60 mph in 5.0 seconds (5.1 manual transmission). BMW Z4 sDrive35is is limited electronically to 250 km/h or 155 mph. The engine is matted to 7-speed Double-Clutch Transmission (DCT) with SPORT and SPORT+ driving modes. The DCT also features a Launch Control function for maximum performance when accelerating from a standstill. BMW sDrive35is weighs 1,525 kg (3,362 lbs).
The significant performance boost is a direct result of a higher-flow intake that allow the turbos to spin up to higher pressure. Three big software changes were added to this upgrade model as well.
The electric power steering (EPS) features very sporty programming providing a greater feedback to the driver; cornering and aggressive shifting at its best.
Even though it doesn’t carry the M badge, the BMW Z4 sDrive35is includes new M Sport upgrades such as adaptive M Suspension and M Aerodynamics. The adaptive M Suspension combines a ride-height reduction of 10 millimeters (almost 0.4”) with electronically controlled shock absorbers. Special M-Sport 18-inch light-alloy wheels in five-spoke design round off the sporty character of the Z4 sDrive35is. Optional, the buyer can choose 19-inch wheels.
The 2011 BMW Z4 sDrive35is might not be a successor to the Z4 M Roadster, but in terms of styling, performance, overall dynamic and ability, it is more than a worthy replacement.