While BMW had pretty much ruled out the possibility of creating a successor to the M variants of the Z3 and the previous Z4 with its new hardtop roadster, no one from Munich ever said that there wasn’t going to be a faster and more focused version than the Z4 sDrive35i.
That car is the Z4 sDrive35is -the ‘S’ is what makes the difference- and it will make its world debut at next month’s 2010 Detroit Auto Show before going on sale worldwide later next year.
The range topping Z4 features a more powerful version of the company’s 3,0-litre twin-turbocharged straight six and M-Sports styling and chassis packages.
At the heart of the Z4 sDrive35is is BMW’s 3,0-litre twin-turbo straight-six that benefits from optimised air supply and increased boost pressure. Output is lifted from 225 kW to 250 kW at 5 800 rpm, while peak torque is increased to 450 N.m and is available from 1 400 rpm all the way to 4 500 rpm.
Furthermore, the modified engine management on the Z4 sDrive35is also allows the use of an Overboost function, briefly increasing engine torque under full load by another 50 N.m to 500 N.m.
Power is driven to the rear wheels through a revised version of the firm’s seven-speed double clutch transmission with BMW announcing a zero to 100 km/h sprint time of 4.8 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h.
BMW says that despite the increased performance over the standard Z4 sDrive35i, the ‘S’ model delivers the same fuel economy averaging 9.0 l/100km.
Aside from the powetrain upgrades, the Z4 sDrive35is also comes as standard with an M Sports Package including the M Aerodynamics Package and adaptive M Suspension.
The M Suspension, which features electronically controlled dampers, lowers the entire car by 10 mm. The top-Z4 also gets a reprogrammed electronic power steering system that promises to offer increased feedback.
On the outside, the M package adds unique 18-inch alloy wheels with 19-inch rims available as an option, a new front bumper, re-trimmed kidney grilles, matte silver exterior mirror caps, a new rear bumper with an integrated diffuser and specific tail pipes.
Finally, the interior has been enhanced with several features such as the M leather steering wheel with gearshift paddles, M footrest, sports seats, aluminium carbon trim, BMW Individual roof lining, M entry strips and footmats with coloured piping.
The revised instrument cluster with grey faces on the dials and the ‘sDrive35is’ model designation complete the package.