With the sDrive35is model, BMW adds a sport version of its roadster to the lineup. Unlike its model mates, which have gone to a single twin-scroll turbocharger, the sDrive35is preserves the twin turbos from the previous model year. The sDrive35is also comes with a surprising amount of standard performance tech.
The Z4 employs BMW's traditional kidney grille, giving it a distinct front end, while lower air intakes add a sporting appearance. Down the sides, the Z4 is a very sculpted roadster, its front fenders rising just a little higher than the door sills.
The direct-injection 3-liter straight-six-cylinder engine gets two low-pressure turbos, one for each set of three cylinders. Output is 340 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque--a big increase over the standard Z4's 306 horsepower.
Our car came with only one cabin tech option, an iPod adapter. If the navigation option were present, an 8.8-inch LCD would pop up from the center of the dashboard, and the console would host an iDrive controller.
Along with the adaptive suspension, the Z4 also gets BMW's seven-speed dual-clutch transmission standard. We were not very impressed with the Sport mode, but it executes manual gear shifts very quickly.
Lacking the navigation system's large LCD, BMW makes due with this small radio display for audio selection. We would like to see BMW employ a larger monochrome display capable of showing more information, but the company is fairly clever with this limited amount of space.