The updated BMW Z4 combines classic styling with practicality to add more fun to its drive

BMW has given the iconic Z4 sportscar an update in international markets, although in terms of styling, the changes are minor. The bumpers are slightly edgier and the chrome grills within the front flanks are also new, along with new wheel design. The grille and headlamps have also been slightly refreshed as have the interiors.

The biggest change is under the hood. BMW will no longer offer the standard Z4 sDrive35i in India, and in its place, will give us the even more tongue twisting Z4 sDrive35is. The extra ‘s’ in the name stands for an extra 33bhp over the sDrive35i’s 302bhp and a healthy bump up in torque as well, especially on overboost. So, performance is as strong as you would expect from a sportscar and, in fact, this new engine’s claimed 0-100kph time is 0.3sec quicker than Porsche’s official time for the Boxster S. And, it’s not all about flat-out performance either — the 3.0-litre, twin-turbo direct-injection engine puts out a lot of torque even at low engine speeds. This torque, the engine’s appetite for revs and the hair-raising mechanical snarl from the exhaust under load makes for plenty of excitement. The crackling on the overrun sounds pretty sweet too.

The new Z4 sDrive35is is pretty much the same as its predecessor; it is a fun car in the right conditions with a rear-wheel-drive chassis that allows you to kick the tail out when the DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) is switched off.

But the steering, a speed-sensitive electro-mechanical system, lacks consistency, becoming less direct as lock is applied, making you second guess through longer, decreasing radius corners.

The updated Z4 is expected to hit Indian showrooms later this year and we expect it to cost a smidgen more than the current Z4. The new Z4 is quick, has the practicality of a hardtop and is fun to drive.