2011 BMW Z4 sDrive35is had its world premiere at the Detroit Auto Show 2010. The new upgraded, more powerful Z4is went public just a few weeks back when the 2011 roadster opened the doors for more “is” performance oriented vehicles to come in the months.
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.
Design wise, the Z4 sDrive35is feature an M Sport kit with several exterior and interior components such as front bumper with a matte aluminum trim bar in each outer air intake, a rear bumper with accentuated surrounds on the tailpipes, a rear diffuser finished at top in body color and black textured surface underneath, M Steering wheel, M footrest, M door sills and floor mats. Plenty of Aluminum Carbon interior components are featured as well.
Even though not officially announced in the press release, the 2011 BMW Z4 sDrive35is is expected to cost around $61,000 in the U.S.
More coverage will follow in the next few days, along with a deep analysis of the upgraded N54 engine.
Photos by Shawn Molnar and Andrew Nakhla