BMW Z4 sDrive 35is (2010) first official photos

Published: 14 December 2009

These are the first official pictures of the new high-performance BMW Z4 sDrive 35is, unveiled today at the Detroit motor show. A bit of a mouthful (that's BMW's new nomenclature for you), but it's essentially the fastest, hardest Z4 to date since the recently departed M roadster curled over and died.

The Z4 sDrive 35is uses Munich's existing 3.0-litre twin-turbo straight six, tweaked to produce 335bhp and 332lb ft of the twisty stuff all the way from 1400-4500rpm. That's one flat torque curve, and a 29bhp jump over the regular sDrive35i. The six-pot is mated to BMW's paddle-controlled seven-speed twin-clutch transmission, driving the rear wheels.

Subtle body addenda denote this as the sportiest Z4: an M Aerodynamics Package includes 18in light alloys (19s are an option) and a 10mm drop in ride height, while a new bumper includes matt aluminium horizontal bars at the front and a chunked-up rear bumper/diffuser assembly. All typically Germanic, subtle oneupmanship to justify the step up in price.

So just how fast is the new BMW Z4 sDrive 35is?

Thanks to a brief overboost function for overtaking, you'll waft on a tsunami of 369lb ft of twist for short bursts. So 0-62mph is claimed to take just 4.8 seconds. Top speed is, naturally, limited to 155mph.

CO2 emissions stand at 210g/km and the quoted combined economy figures are 31.4mpg (the same figure as the regular Z4 sDrive 35i equipped with the Sport Automatic transmission).

Figures, figures, figures... Tell me what the Z4 sDrive 35is will be like to drive!

Well, we already rate the Z4 as a slick two-seat roadster, albeit one that's lost some of the sportiness of the outgoing model. The latest Z4 is undeniably more grown-up, more refined. More like the Merc SLK.

The sDrive 35is should address our criticisims. The emphasis is definitely on sportiness: there's a launch control function, M Sports suspension pack and even an exhaust system with special flaps in the silencers to adjust the engine noise depending on your driving style.

The Z4 sDrive 35is makes its world debut at the 2010 Detroit auto show – alongside the launch of the M Sport package for all other Z4s. We'll drive the new sporty model in spring 2010; full details to follow then.

Will there be a full M-spec Z4 to follow? Watch this space. Until now, the sDrive 35is is the halfway house.


BMW Z4 sDrive 35is; New BMW 5 Series Sedan BMW 535i - driving footage; bmw; bmw 5-series; car; exterior; interior; parking assist; road; New BMW 5 Series Sedan BMW 535i – interior views and engine; bmw; bmw 5-series; car; exterior; interior; parking assist; road; New BMW 5 Series Sedan BMW 530d Active Cruise Control, Rear –end Collision Warning System including Brake Assistant; bmw; bmw 5-series; car; exterior; interior; parking assist; road; New BMW 5 Series Sedan BMW 530d - parking assistant; bmw; bmw 5-series; car; exterior; interior; parking assist; road; BMW Concept 6; BMW Concept 6; BMW Concept 6; BMW 7-series ActiveHybrid; Performance Car of the Year 2009 BMW Z4 - time trial; BMW M5 (2011) scoop; BMW Vision Efficient Dynamics concept sports car; BMW ActiveHybrid 7; BMW 760Li driving shots; BMW X1- first driving footage; BMW 5-series GT driving and static shots; Ben Barry's E36 BMW M3 drifting at Zandvoort; BMW Z4 sDrive35i driving shots with closed hardtop; BMW convertible; bmw sportscar; bmw z4; bmw z4 video; CAR Magazine; CAR Online; folding hard top; BMW Z4 sDrive35i driving shots with open hardtop; BMW convertible; bmw folding hardtop; bmw sportscar; bmw z4; CAR Magazine; CAR Online; BMW 5-series spy video; 5-series; bmw; scooped; spied; spy video; BMW Concept 5-series Gran Turismo; BMW Concept 5-series Gran Turismo 2009 - interior video; BMW 5 series; bmw pas; car; car video; interior; BMW X3 Spy video; bmw video; BMW X3; CAR Magazine; CAR Online; car video; cars; X3; BMW 335i Long-term test; bmw 335i; CAR Magazine; CAR Online; long term test; Road Test; BMW X6; bmw; bmw x6; car; CAR Magazine; CAR Online; BMW 7-series first look; 7 series; bmw; BMW 7 series; first look; new cars; video; BMW M3 v Mercedes C63 AMG v Lexus IS-F - three super-saloons battle it out on track; AMG; auto; bmw; c63; car; CAR Magazine; is-f; Lexus; lexus is-f; m3; mercedes; three super-saloon;; BMW M3 Road Test; BMW M3; Road Test; Want to sample the black art of drifting? Then watch Ben Barry and BMW¿s new, 414bhp M3 on the Teesside Autodrome track. Ben delivers some sensational sideways action, before Phil McNamara muscles in with some schoolboy sideways¿; automotive; Ben Barry; bmw; BMW M3; CAR Magazine; cars; Drift; sideways; sideways challenge; Sideways in Spain in BMW's 2007 M3, complete with new 414bhp V8 engine; 2007; automotive; bmw; cars; first drive; m3; BMW

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet