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2011 BMW Z4 sDrive35is - Click above for high-res image gallery

When BMW launched the new Z4 early this year, they made it clear that, unlike the last Z4 and the Z3 before it, there were no plans to create an M version this time around. Of course, forgoing the M nomenclature doesn't mean that BMW won't create a faster Z4 than what's currently in showrooms.

In fact, the first of those faster roadsters will debut next month at the Detroit Auto Show. The Z4 sDrive35is is based on the existing 35i, with its delicious twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six. Compared to the existing turbo Z4, the new model gets a higher-flow intake and the turbos are allowed to spin up to higher boost pressures, resulting in an 11 percent bump in both power and torque output. The '35is now makes 335 hp and 332 pound-feet. In fact, for brief bursts, the 35is can crank up the boost even higher resulting in short periods of up to 369 pound-feet of torque.

BMW claims the Z4 sDrive35is will get to 60 mph in just 4.7 seconds. Other features of the 35is include revised electric electric power steering programming, a standard dual-clutch gearbox, and brake energy regeneration. Visually, the 35is wears some M Sport aero and suspension bits and sees its ride height dropped 0.4 inches lower than the standard 35i. They may not be calling this a full M Roadster, but in most respects, that's exactly what this new model is.

  • BMW Z4 sDrive35is (11/2009)
  • BMW Z4 sDrive35is (11/2009)
  • BMW Z4 sDrive35is (11/2009)
  • BMW Z4 sDrive35is (11/2009)
  • BMW Z4 sDrive35is (11/2009)
  • BMW Z4 sDrive35is (11/2009)
  • BMW Z4 sDrive35is (11/2009)
  • BMW Z4 sDrive35is (11/2009)
  • BMW Z4 sDrive35is (11/2009)
  • BMW Z4 sDrive35is, Badge (11/2009)
  • BMW Z4 sDrive35is, Wheel (11/2009)
  • BMW Z4 sDrive35is, Diffusor (11/2009)
  • BMW Z4 sDrive35is, Front end (11/2009)
  • BMW Z4 sDrive35is, Rear view (11/2009)
  • BMW Z4 sDrive35is, Side mirror (11/2009)
  • BMW Z4 M Sport package, door sill protector (11/2009)
  • BMW Z4 M Sport package, Wheel (11/2009)
  • BMW Z4 M Sport package, Center console (11/2009)
  • BMW Z4 M Sport package (11/2009)
  • BMW Z4 M Sport package (11/2009)
  • BMW Z4 M Sport package (11/2009)
  • BMW Z4 M Sport package (11/2009)
  • BMW Z4 M Sport package (11/2009)
  • BMW Z4 M Sport package (11/2009)
  • BMW Z4 M Sport package (11/2009)
  • BMW Z4 M Sport package, Cockpit (11/2009)
  • BMW Z4 M Sport package (11/2009)
  • BMW Z4 M Sport package (11/2009)
  • BMW Z4 sDrive35is, Cockpit (11/2009)
  • BMW Z4 sDrive35is, Cockpit (11/2009)
  • BMW Z4 sDrive35is, Engine (11/2009)
  • BMW Z4 sDrive35is, Engine (11/2009)

[Source: BMW]
press release

BMW's Roadster Gets Higher-Performance Model for 2011
Range-topping Z4 sDrive35is model makes world premiere at NAIAS.

Woodcliff Lake, NJ - December 12, 2009, 6pm EST... Combining classic proportions with modern features, the BMW Z4 Roadster enjoys the top spot in its market segment. Now, the new BMW Z4 sDrive35is distills the Roadster's performance potential to produce one of BMW's fastest and best-handling Roadsters ever. The BMW Z4 sDrive35is is making its world debut as a 2011 model at the 2010 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. It arrives at authorized BMW Centers in Spring 2010.

More air, boost, and torque: More BMW performance.
The latest Z4 model is characterized by instantaneous response to the accelerator pedal, fantastic sounds, and a free-revving spirit. The engine features increased air intake flow and increased boost pressure to release more power with the same standard of efficiency. The combination of twin low-mass turbochargers and High Precision direct injection offers an output a naturally-aspirated engine would only be able to provide through more cylinders and larger displacement.
The turbocharger system developed for the engine of the new BMW Z4 sDrive35is maintains a high output throughout the entire engine speed range. Nominal peak torque is increased to 332 lb-ft from 1,500 rpm to 4,500 rpm. Maximum output of 335 hp is delivered at 5,900 rpm.
Overboost function for athletic acceleration.
The enhanced engine management system of the BMW Z4 sDrive35is includes an electronically-controlled overboost function to briefly increase torque under full load by another 37 lb-ft. This temporary torque peak of 369 lb-ft gives the car a significant increase in acceleration. The BMW Z4 sDrive35is will complete the sprint from a standstill to 60 mph in just 4.7 seconds (preliminary). Top speed of the BMW Z4 sDrive35is is limited electronically to 250 km/h or 155 mph.
High Precision direct injection and BMW EfficientDynamics.
The BMW Z4 sDrive35is offers outstanding power and performance without an increase in fuel consumption or emissions. Its figures are expected to match those of the BMW Z4 sDrive35i with Double-Clutch Transmission on the EPA test cycle. This balance of performance and fuel efficiency results from the fundamental design and layout of the BMW inline-6, which combines twin turbochargers with High Precision direct injection. The fuel injectors operate at a pressure of up to 200 bar (2900 psi), distributing fuel in a conical spray pattern throughout the combustion chamber. Another advantage of direct fuel injection is its cooling effect which allows higher compression while reducing the possibility of detonation.
Further technologies offered under the BMW EfficientDynamics philosophy include Brake Energy Regeneration, Electric Power Steering, and on-demand operation of engine accessory units.
Signature engine sound to accompany the surge of power.
The exhaust system of the BMW Z4 sDrive35is has been tuned specifically for this model. Acoustic engineering gives the car a very unique sound pattern across the speed range. This tuned sound is the result of special baffles and a unique set of mufflers. The sound is characterized by a deep rumble with a focus on the low frequency sound range.
Enhanced Electric Power Steering.
Electric Power Steering (EPS) on the BMW Z4 sDrive35is features very sporty programming, focused to provide intense and clear steering feedback to the driver. This enables the driver to turn-in with remarkable precision and confidence at all vehicle speeds.
7-speed Double-Clutch Transmission with special programming.
The standard 7-speed Double-Clutch Transmission (DCT) in the BMW Z4 sDrive35is combines the best in driving dynamics and efficiency. A highlight is the dual-mass flywheel, configured for the higher levels of power and performance. The DCT can shift gears without the slightest interruption of power to the rear tires, and offers a choice of automatic or manual gear selection. The programming of the DCT has been tailored to complement the sporty nature of the BMW Z4 sDrive35is at every level.
When shifting gears manually or within the SPORT and SPORT+ modes of the Z4's standard Driving Dynamics Control, the transmission offers an exciting experience through faster gearshifts and a greater increase in torque before shifting. The DCT also features a Launch Control function for maximum performance when accelerating from a standstill. The DCT is controlled by an electronic gear selector on the center console and comes with gearshift paddles on the steering wheel.
M Sport upgrades to match the new engine's performance.
The BMW Z4 sDrive35is includes new M Sport upgrades such as M Aerodynamics and adaptive M Suspension. The adaptive M Suspension combines a ride-height reduction of 10 millimeters (almost 0.4") with electronically controlled shock absorbers (Dynamic Damping Control) to improve the vehicle's agility without compromising ride comfort. The M Sport upgrades emphasize the Z4's athletic character through aerodynamically optimized exterior features and customized interior components.
Special 18-inch light-alloy wheels in five-spoke design round off the sporty character of the Z4 sDrive35is. 19-inch light-alloy wheels are available as an option. In addition to its unique wheels, the new model is further distinguished by a striking front bumper with a matte aluminum trim bar in each outer air intake, a rear bumper with accentuated surrounds on the tailpipes, and a rear diffuser finished at top in body color and black textured surface underneath.
M Sport interior enhancements and new Kansas Walnut leather.
Inside the BMW Z4 sDrive35is, the driving experience is enhanced by features such as a new thick-rimmed M leather steering wheel with gearshift paddles, an M driver's footrest, and sport seats. Grey-faced instrument dials feature the "sDrive35is" model designation. Further features inside the Z4 sDrive35is are the Anthracite-colored BMW Individual roof lining, M door sill strips, floor mats with colored piping and the "sDrive35is" model designation, as well as M interior trim in Aluminum Carbon. The new Aluminum Carbon trim features the recognizable "weave" of natural carbon fiber interpreted on a matte aluminum base.
The range of leather upholstery is being further enhanced by an additional color variant marking the launch of the BMW Z4 sDrive35is: All versions of the Z4 Roadster are now also available in Kansas Walnut leather as an option. The BMW Z4 sDrive35is is available with a choice of six paintwork colors. In addition to Alpine White and the metallic colors Titanium Silver, Black Sapphire, Space Grey, and Deep Sea Blue, the Z4 Roadster is now available for the first time in Melbourne Red metallic. Regardless of the color chosen, the exterior mirror caps on the BMW Z4 sDrive35is are always Oxide Silver.

BMW Group In America

BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since 1975. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003. The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and the Rolls-Royce brand of Motor Cars; DesignworksUSA, a strategic design consultancy in California; a technology office in Silicon Valley and various other operations throughout the country. BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group's global manufacturing network and is the exclusive manufacturing plant for all X5 Sports Activity Vehicles and X6 Sports Activity Coupes. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 338 BMW passenger car centers, 335 BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 142 BMW motorcycle retailers, 89 MINI passenger car dealers, and 31 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers. BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group's sales headquarters for North America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.
Information about BMW Group products is available to consumers via the Internet at:


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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      They could obviously not call the car Z4M since it's not a M-car. But Z4is or 3.0is had been fine.
      • 5 Years Ago
      1) sDrive35is is the stupidest model designation in a long time
      2) X5M and X6M, but no Z4M? WTF?
        • 5 Years Ago
        1) +1
        2) +1 .... And this "is" is a stupid half-breed, a cooki thrown from BMW to dampen the jaw dropped when they said there will be no Z4M... Mark my words... in times when even Audi is doing cars like R8, and BMW not paying attention to their vanishing motorsport heritage... theire could be a paradigm change.
      • 5 Years Ago
      this is so clearly just a response to audi's tt-rs. the tt-rs got rave reviews and bmw wanted to grab a piece of the pie.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I had two S54 M roadsters. You will never see me driving this OVERPRICED, ugly, idiotic, marketing flop, image car.

      BMW - take the reins away from the marketing idiots, and give the company back to your engineers.

      Mazda is making you look bad these days.
      • 5 Years Ago
      awesome roadster! it has the potential to be the fastest in bmw line up, without having to be the most expensive.
      • 5 Years Ago
      sDrive35is.... is that really what it's called? I'm having a hard time not reading that in 1337.
        • 5 Years Ago
        me ,too.
        • 5 Years Ago
        This car is utterly irrelevant now. Fast or not, it's become a Mercedes SL: An overpriced, soft, boulevard cruiser for old women to pose in.

        BMW needs to take a page from Mazda (again) and build a proper lightweight roadster. The Z4 has grown synonymous with "bloat."
        • 5 Years Ago
        People they just added "s" at the end of the sDrive35i. My sister has one in red and it's amazing. When i drive it i feel like celebrity, because everybody is looking at the car. The sound amazing too, especially when you downshift.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I live in Las Vegas where exotic cars are everywhere.
        • 5 Years Ago
        This car is perfect in everyway except the optional Manual Transmission for those like me.

        Also, the naming is lame as you guys said.

        On a side note, the new 7 series did very well in crash tests. What a tank!

        • 5 Years Ago
        I stopped caring about this car when i saw its name.. Since its impossible to tell people what car you are talking about BMW obviously doesn't want people to talk about it.

        Who would've thought a car name could be more frustrating than I-drive.
        • 5 Years Ago

        i think you're wrong.
        the original z3 wasn't everyday joe's wallet car either.

        bmw is a premium brand, not a mazda.
        put you ear shell on a mazda engine and rev it.
        repeat the same on a bayer engine.

        p.s. get used to these prices.

        • 5 Years Ago
        If you want to get technical, BMW hasn't sold one of these with a proper manual gearbox in years. They had some sort of stupid rev limiter so shifting was always goofy. It was part of their "American's can't drive cars with manual gearboxes without blowing them up" thought process.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I am very disappointed there is no proper Manual Transmission.
        I dont want an automatic even if its dual clutch whatever.

        The joy of rowing your own gears with a clutch is not duplicated with these transmissions.
        very sad.
      • 5 Years Ago
      My solution to BMW names is to use the formula abcdef, where:

      a = a number or letter indicating the type of vehicle (nothing=sedan or coupe, 1=CUV, Z=roadster)
      b = a number (odd for 4-doors and wagons, even for 2-doors, convertibles, and shooting brakes)
      cd = displacement in tenths of liters (real displacement, not guestimated)
      e = engine type (i=gasoline, t=turbo'd gasoline, d=diesel)
      f = driven wheels (x=awd, nothing=rwd)

      Performance models would use the formula, Mabf.

      What does that give us?
      128i coupe becomes the 230i coupe
      335i sedan becomes the 330t sedan
      335i convertible becomes the 430t convertible
      535ix wagon becomes the 530tx wagon
      Z4 35sDrivei becomes the Z430t
      X3 30xDrivei becomes the 1330ix
      M3, M5, and M6 remain the M3, M5, and M6
      X5M and X6M become the M15x and M16x
        • 5 Years Ago
        i iz confuzzled?
        • 5 Years Ago
        After I read that, maybe sDrive35is isn't THAT bad.
        • 5 Years Ago
        They were headed slightly down that road when they redesigned the 3 Series a few years back. Some thought that BMW might split up the 3-Series sedan and coupe into different models like how the 6 and 8 series cars were. Even numbers would denote coupes and odd numbers would denote sedans.

        I think they came to their senses though as it would tend to get confusing. Considering the 1 Series as well, you'd be able to buy almost any digit BMW from a 1 Series all the way to an 8 Series.

        As bad as this name is though, I still think BMW has a fairly good naming scheme going and it's already fairly close to what you are proposing.

        a - I think this already works well for BMW as is, no need to confuse by turning the X models (1,3,5, & 6) into the 11, 13, 15, and 16. When I think of a crossover BMW, the letter 'X' fits nicely there. The others are the same as now.

        b - I mentioned this above. It's not a horrible idea, but could quickly get confusing. Plus, are the 3 Series sedan and coupe really different enough to warrant different model names? On the other hand, the 6 Series is not quite a 5 Series coupe and the old 8 Series wasn't really a 7 Series coupe either. Those make(made) more sense.

        cd - They already do this for the most part, though not with the exact figures as you mentioned. I'm on the fence on this. It seems that BMW is taking a page from the Lexus hybrid displacement methodology. This is where the 335i comes to be despite using a twin-turbo 3.0L. I think they are stating the displacement if they were to get the same output from an N/A engine. In other cases, they may just be using a figure that "looks" better. For instance, we are used to seeing a 328i, not so much a 329i or a 327i. If BMW had a 2.9L engine in the 3 Series, they would probably opt to call it the 328i or 330i instead, even though it wouldn't be accurate. I'd be OK with that.

        e - They are almost there with this one, except for the 't' denoting turbocharged engines. It's not a bad idea but also not really necessary, especially considering 'cd' above.

        f - Again, this was pretty much their current practice until they decided to use the xDrive moniker instead. I think they should go back to the 'x'.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I was totally going to purchase this vehicle when they were announcing it. I've always enjoyed small cars, but man, compared to the old Z4's $40,000 starting price, it is just a bit too much. A damn shame for a nice car.

      I still think I'd tell people I drive a Z4... not a EsDrive35Is. Yikes!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Car is gorgeous, but it really should be the Z4M, it's dissapointing to have an M steering wheel, side sills and gearshifter on a non-m car.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Then don't ever buy a BMW with the M Sport package. That's essentially what that is. It's like how you can buy an Audi with the S-Line package or buy an S4 etc.

        I disagree that this should be an M model. It's not different enough to be an M. It really is pretty much a standard Z4 with the M Sport package and a slight power bump. Give it the M3 engine and other changes that the M3 has over the 3 Series and then we'll talk.

        I'm curious about the "Brake energy regeneration" part. This isn't a hybrid, what does that do exactly?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Brake energy regeneration for BMW was introduced with the whole efficient dynamics package, it's been on euro spec vehicles for a few years now. It improves fuel economy by only charging the battery with kinetic energy from braking.
        You're right on the whole m packages and s-line and so on. I guess I'm just dissapointed with M division lately, first they cancel the csl, then they build the x6/x5m. They're busy meeting demand in Russia/Dubai and havent done as much for enthusiasts.
      • 5 Years Ago
      So no M roadster, perhaps the purest extension of the brand, but there's the pure mess of overlapping known as an X6 M? Which I assume they have to name as such because MX6 was recently a Mazda? Now it all makes tragic sense. Also, Z4 sDrive35is is what inevitably happens when they stop naming their cars Fairlane, Chevelle, Avanti, Rambler, Jalpa, etc.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wow, and to think it could have just been Z4M
      • 5 Years Ago
      Dear BMW,

      Why the Audi side mirror covers?

      Please remain a trend-setter.

      Thank you,

      Your fans
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