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BMW Z4 sDrive 35i in the test: new top model with 340 hp without M.

Rossen Gargolov
BMW Z4 sDrive 35i in the test
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S imagine you are sitting with yours Tribe Indians and on the new menu their fiery-flavored favorite curry has been removed from the menu. Reason: Too hot and therefore too little in demand. The disappointment sits. The M fan base for the BMW Z4 must be just as brave from now on. In contrast to the predecessor of the E85 series, with the current tin roof roadster, not only is the choice between the cloth cap version and the coupé version flat, but the production of the sporty spearhead BMW Z4 M is currently not planned.

BMW Z4 top model with more power

According to BMW, demand is too low. 'Why don't you try our new curry, it's not that hot, but it's also very good,' the landlord tries to keep you as a guest. BMW also wants to continue to ensnare former Z4 M customers with a sporty model and is now serving the Z4 sDrive 35is. 'Life is just a compromise,' says Z4 product manager Wolfram Cüppers. Compared with the previous top-of-the-range version, the sDrive 35i, the in-line six-cylinder biturbo engine with a displacement of three liters in the Z4 newcomer now produces 340 hp instead of 306.

For the extra portion of performance, the BMW developers optimized the air supply, modified the engine management and increased the maximum boost pressure from 0.6 to 0.8 bar. Even if the BMW sDrive 35is doesn't have the M in its cryptic name, it rolls up as a driving M reminiscence. No wonder - the M sports package with angular aprons, sports seats, sports steering wheel and aluminum footrests are just as much part of the standard equipment as the M chassis, which has been lowered by ten millimeters, and the 18-inch wheels in five-spoke design.

BMW Z4 35is sports the M lettering

Whether on the door sills, the footrest or in the steering wheel rim - the BMW Z4 35is proudly displays the M lettering. But not only visually, BMW wants to comfort the Z4 M supporters left behind about the loss of their hero. Thanks to modified silencers, the BMW Z4 35is barks with a wonderfully gnarled sound through the two round tailpipes. The former M customers will continue to like the longitudinal dynamics values.

The new Z4-König pushes hard in the lower speed range from 1,500 tours. The maximum torque increases compared to the 35i by 50 to 450 Newton meters. Thanks to an overboost function, the open-air athlete even strikes briefly with a biturbo punch of 500 Newton meters.In the upper speed range, however, the in-line six-cylinder with direct injection ran out of breath a little.

BMW Z4 35is grabs the old M in a sprint

When sprinting to 100 km /h, the BMW Z4 35is misses the factory specification by two tenths of a second, but still leaps over it in five seconds 100 km /h mark (35i: 5.5 seconds). It accelerates just as quickly as the manually shifted BMW Z4 M Roadster from the previous series with the 343 hp 3.2-liter six-cylinder from the previous M3. But does the new Z4-Primus with its distinctive M look and seasoned six-cylinder also have talent for driving dynamics?

At 1,599 kilograms, the sporty roadster weighs nine kilograms less than the 35i that has already been tested, but significantly more than the Z4 M Roadster. We briefly remember 2006: easily fluffy 1,444 kilos. Despite the extra pounds, the is is well equipped for the shootout in Hockenheim with its adaptive chassis and tighter characteristics of the electromechanical power steering. With a lap time of 1.16.1 minutes, the offspring hisses 1.5 seconds faster than its 306 hp Z4 brother and six tenths of a second faster than the E 85 M Roadster around the small track.

Foolproof driving behavior in the BMW Z4 35is

In view of the significantly improved lap time, the BMW Z4 35is could easily attach an M to the flanks and its rounded rear. But the suspension tuning will hardly make the heart of cornering fans beat faster. Whether at the entrance to the corner or from the apex of the corner under load - the most powerful BMW Z4 variant pushes more and more over the front wheels. In tight bends, the BMW Z4 35is also noticeably rolls around its longitudinal axis.

The foolproof driving behavior with a tendency to understeer is no longer reminiscent of the refreshingly rough character of the Z4 M, which could be circled through the bends with controlled oversteer and responded to load changes with bold tail swings. With this convenient setup, the current fresh air representative can be found on the shopping miles more often than in front of the tourist entrance to the Nordschleife.

The sadness remains

The seven-speed dual-clutch transmission exudes sporty driving fun with nimble gear changes and its simulated torque increase in the Sport and Sport Plus modes as well as robust double-declutching when downshifting. The steering works with precise feedback. In this case, however, the changed characteristic is at most noticeable through slightly higher holding forces.

Despite the well-functioning motor-gearbox unit, those who are greedy for curves pull out their handkerchiefs to wistfully remember the M predecessor. With V8 power from the M3 shelf and an agile chassis set-up, it would be so easy to turn the drops of sadness into tears of joy in the current BMW Z4.


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