Where is the New \”Z\”?

When we broke the news of BMWs new naming scheme and the future badge changes to the Z (sDrive35) we had no idea that it would end up forcing BMW to change its scheduled plans.

For months we had been informed that the Z4 sDrive35 would premiere in LA, with marketing materials released the first week of November (5th to be exact). Initial plans: sDrive registration finished in October, press release in November, production start in December. There was a wrinkle in those plans; in Yokohama. The tire manufacturer also held the sDrive moniker so that is the main hold up and the reason for the delay. All of the marketing items and press information contained photos, and reference to sDrive so it would have taken weeks to correct everything up to product release standards.

With LA already occurring, the Regensburg plant now to be closed for a month from the middle of December there is no rush to release the model. Production would not begin until the end of January now at the earliest.

Whether the car will be released in the US at Detroit, or in Europe at Geneva is debatable but what we do know is that BMWAG has no part in financing the Detroit show and everything in at Geneva.Geneva will launch a lot of other cars from German competitors, Porsche Panorama, Audi A5 cabriolet, and MB E-Class just for starters so the attention would be spread thin. Detroit will be a smaller show this year due to financial strains on many brands so BMW may decide to use that to their advantage and launch the car there. The main market for the Z remains the US but BMW wants to emphasize it is a European sports car, not an American one. This was something that was not considered as much in the past.

Just as a reminder sDrive refers to rear wheel drive with an electro-mechanical differential; also known as Dynamic Performance Control (X6); sDrive will also be featured in the X1 for the EU market. Other features will include dynamic dampening and other technologies to increase ride and performance of the suspension.

We will update you as we hear more.

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  • TC

    Does anyone else think these new model designations are rediculous?

  • Dan

    So does this mean the X1 will be the X1 xDrive sDrive? or maybe just the X1 xsDrive… surely it can’t be sxDrive.

  • JonPD

    Yes I think the new designations are a lark, funny that politicians actually think this is going to help the less than knowledgeable car buyer to know what they are buying. I am hoping for a badge delete option, if not that is the first thing to change on the car.

    I was really hoping that some info would have come out at the LA show, badging issues seem like a lark though for a reason to not bring it imo. It will be interesting to see if they are going to go to the Detroit motorshow, I know many manufacturers have already said they are boycotting the show this year since Detroit widely pulled their support from the LA show.

  • Enzo

    Happy Badge Syndrome used to be reserved for American and Japanese brands because they curiously like to cheapen the look of their vehicles. This is disappointing that now BMW is joining in this travesty if they slap a “sDRIVE35i” on the side or rear of the Z4. What was wrong with the old badges? If I buy a Z4 it will be coming off!

    ps Great one Dan!

  • The old badges are no longer legal so name changes were required.

    The X1 is a conundrum and part of the reason BMW had to come up with a badge they could use across model lines. The X1 will be both RWD and AWD. Every “X” model thus far has been AWD, so it was assumed “X#” means AWD…. not so anymore thus the xDrive and sDrive.

    The X1 will have both badging depending on the build.

    X1 sDrive35 for RWD X1 xDrive35 for AWD

    Naming can no longer list the engine size as separate (Z4 3.0si) because of the new legislation. This affected all models with the engine in the name. The “XI” name was also dropped on AWD models so there is consistency and uniformity across the brand.

    I hope that helps.

  • mike

    so does anyone know the “why” behind all the legislative changes?

  • JonPD

    Still has to be one of the silliest laws on the books, no wonder our country is in a little trouble. Honestly this came from lame people that could not figure out how to pop their hoods and/or read the paper work for their cars getting surprised by not getting the motor they are expecting. This ranks right up there with the push to alway increase car mileage while allowing manufactures to release monstrosity after monstrosity truck based SUVs that have no restrictions on them. Guess at the end of the day I would just say that politicians at best really need to wake up and work on real problems not push button issues. Just my opionon.

  • bunker

    I just really want to see the damn car…I don’t care what they call it!

  • Nick

    I thought that designations ALWAYS represented engine displacement…. so you mean to tell me that a Ford “F-150” doesn’t have a 1.5 liter in-line four? I sir, call you a liar.

  • Eliot R.

    I don’t care what the logistics and reasons were behind the nomenclature changes, it was/is a profoundly stupid decision. I find it hard to believe people were sitting in their garages upset that BMW didn’t put a larger badge on every square inch of the car. Lame…

  • zet

    when the car is calles 3.0i, then there has to be a 3 liter machine in it. when you call it z4 30i then there is no need for that, you could mount a 1,9 litres engine in. With the information that the z4 gets 3 engines, all of them with 3 litres: what do you do? call it Z4 3.0i; 3.0si; 3.0sii? ssiissiii will be the end 🙂 so the marketing people, clever as they are, introduced the sdrive/xdrive badge: Call it Z4 sDrive35i, you can mount a 3 litre engine in and everybody is happy… thats the reason.

    The Z4 will be introduced for sure in Geneva! Start of Production beginning of February.

  • Michael

    Why so many letters? OK, no engine size, just add a number that’s it.

    Z41, Z42, Z43, Z44.5