BMW launches slightly sportier Z4 – but there's still no Z4M

BMW has introduced a slightly quicker version of its Z4 Roadster. The previous top-of-the-range version, the sDrive35i, is joined by the sDrive35is. The additional "s" signifies a car that has 34 more horsepower and gets to 100km/h (62mph) from rest in 4.8 instead of 5.1 seconds. At £43,885, the sDrive35is costs over three thousand pounds more than the sDrive35i, but returns exactly the same 31.4mpg in official combined cycle fuel consumption tests and emits the same 210g/km of CO2 – again in official tests.

The current Z4 is a very agreeable car but one that can leave the enthusiast wishing it had a slightly harder edge – in particular, there's still no true replacement for the exhilarating Z4M version of the previous-generation model. On paper, the new sDrive35is appears to offer most of the performance the old Z4M but whether it will offer as much excitement is another matter. The introduction of the sDrive35is does, however, coincide with the introduction of an optional M Sport package of mainly cosmetic enhancements for the Z4 range, although these seem to stop a long way short of transforming the car in the way that a full "M" variant would.