It\’s Official: BMW Releases the BMW Z4 sDrive35iS

Over the past several months we have been showing you spy shots and telling you about a rumored performance oriented version of the Z4. We ‘re happy to report that our sources were correct as today BMW officially launched the Z4 sDrive35is.

This new version just happens to be the one we would want (though we still would like a solid roof) because of the performance upgrades. It builds on the already well liked E89 Z4 by stepping it up a notch in areas that we enthusiast may have been a bit disappointed by. On paper this car looks like it addresses all of our initial concerns (see our review on the right of this page) with the original steering, suspension, and power. BMW is bringing the “S ” back!

The horsepower of the N54 bi-turbo inline six has been up tuned to 335 hp and 332 lb-ft (367 lb-ft in overboost under full load) and is said to take the car from 0-60 in 4.7 seconds. The exhaust note is tuned to a deeper sportier sound, something that is welcomed news to our ears.

The electric power steering has been reprogrammed to impart greater feedback as has the 7 speed Double Clutch Transmission to allow for more aggressive shifts and a launch control.

The Z4sDrive35is also features an M Sport aerodynamics kit, M Sport wheels and M adaptive suspension (featuring adjustable damping and a lowered ride height). Completing the package are the M Sport accouterments throughout the interior. One thing that just is not sitting right with us is that this car come with silver mirror caps…. at BimmerFile we think of that as an “S ” from a company that likes putting engines in front of the wheels. But stranger things have eventually grown on us.

While this car will perform and look great it will also do it efficiently. The BMW Efficient Dynamics inner workings on this sportier model actually allow it to have the same EPA numbers as its tamer twin turbo sibling. Brake energy regeneration (recently launched in the US with the 5 Series Gran Turismo) helps improves overall efficiency.

The M Sport Package

Also released today (and available this spring) is the optional M Sport package. Like other M Sport packages, the Z4 ‘s will offer exterior and interior features seen on the Z4 35is but with different wheels and rear defuser.

Official Releases

Z4 35is

Z4 with M Sport Package

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  • lava

    There is a product for M here if they make one with a fixed carbon roof.

  • Eliot R.

    Don’t like the silver mirror caps. Thought the same thing about stealing a page from Audi.

    Otherwise, really, really like it. M-like performance but probably won’t command a M-like price markup. Would prefer to get it with a proper gearbox, though.

    Anyone know what this specific shade of red is? Is it just the standard Crimson Red? It looks a shade darker in these pics… But I might just be seeing things.

  • It’s Melbourne Red Metallic.

  • Eliot R.

    Interesting… it made sense for BMW to offer an M color on a car like this. Thanks for the info.

  • Forgot to mention- People should use their imaginations and think of other models and how this engine will fit in Sports editions..

  • RJ

    Michael…that last comment of yours is intriguing….share some addtl details, pls!!

  • RJ

    I’ll echo Eliot R’s comments….what message is BMWNA sending us when the highest-performing Z4 variant is not offered with a manual gearbox? Yes, I’m certain that the DCT is a faster gearbox….but who is the targeted customer when a manual gearbox option isn’t even mentioned in the BMWNA press release? No offense intended, but is it the 50+ guy shown in the official BMW video? I think even 50+ guys still like manual gearboxes!!

  • I’ll echo Eliot R’s comments….what message is BMWNA sending us when the highest-performing Z4 variant is not offered with a manual gearbox? Yes, I’m certain that the DCT is a faster gearbox….but who is the targeted customer when a manual gearbox option isn’t even mentioned in the BMWNA press release? No offense intended, but is it the 50+ guy shown in the official BMW video? I think even 50+ guys still like manual gearboxes!!

    Having driven both I can tell you I vastly preferred the manual. My guess is that the manual box’s internals weren’t up to the task of that much torque. My hunch is based off of the 135i Performance Engine Kit and how it’s power output is capped due to the longevity of the 6 speed manual – the same one found in the Z4.

    Of course that still doesn’t absolve BMW. They put a new manual six speed in the E46 ZHP. It would be nice if they could here.

  • Eliot R.

    It makes sense that gearbox longevity is the reason we don’t get a manual. But I’ve always been curious just how conservative that situation is. Like has already been mentioned, it just seems very odd that BMW comes out and says, “Here’s our sportiest Z4 you can buy and it won’t come with a proper gearbox!” Just doesn’t seem right.

    And if this engine is going into other models, that is great. But with my money, I’m not touching it if it’s only paired to a 7-speed DCT.

  • RJ

    Re: gearbox longevity…..plenty of other manufacturers have much more powerful engines than the twin-turbo N54 and their manual gearboxes seem to hold up just fine…Corvette, many Porsche models, Viper….so I can’t really understand / buy the logic that the internals can’t handle the torque or horsepower. Just my humble opinion. Perhaps it’s just BMW trying to steer their customers away from manual gearboxes.

  • eager2own

    I was very interested in this vehicle — until I saw that it is not offered with manual. Let’s hope the Z2 will.

  • RJ

    Ahhh…wonder when / if ever…we will see the mysterious Z2.

  • Re: gearbox longevity…..plenty of other manufacturers have much more powerful engines than the twin-turbo N54 and their manual gearboxes seem to hold up just fine…Corvette, many Porsche models, Viper….so I can’t really understand / buy the logic that the internals can’t handle the torque or horsepower. Just my humble opinion. Perhaps it’s just BMW trying to steer their customers away from manual gearboxes.

    Has nothing to do with that they can’t. They just didn’t design the current manual to withstand that much torque. Why? Because of the cost of components and BMW’s desire to always reign in costs.

  • . . . they are in the end a business. that’s not a slight, just the fact.

    i was indifferent vis-a-vis the gearbox. the manual was more involving and the choice i’d make, but the DCT seemed to suit the character of the car. it is a convertible and consequently a softer car, marginally less enthusiast oriented as a result. but maybe this “is” is more deserving of a standard box?

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