The interplay of classical proportions and state-of-the-art technology defines the unmistakable character of the BMW Z4 – and now an updated version of the roadster is ready for action, armed with a raft of additional powertrain and equipment innovations.
The new BMW Z4 represents a time-honoured and yet alluringly contemporary interpretation of the traditional roadster concept. New exterior features, detailed interior refinements, the new traction equipment package, the new entry-level sDrive18i model and the latest additions to the range of BMW ConnectedDrive features all provide fresh impetus and lend the BMW roadster even greater appeal and individuality.
The new BMW Z4 takes to the stage 25 years after the legendary BMW Z1. That roadster turned heads when it was unveiled at the 1987 International Motor Show in Frankfurt – not only on account of its revolutionary door concept, but also thanks to its agile and precisely controllable handling.
With the BMW Z1 began the latest chapter in the history of BMW roadsters – a tradition which stretches back to the 1930s and reached the first of many high points with the BMW 328 (winner of the 1940 Mille Miglia ) and BMW 507 from 1955. The BMW Z3 and BMW Z8 triggered a fresh wave of excitement for the classical open-top two-seater concept in the 1990s. And they also paved the way for the first-generation BMW Z4 and its successor, the brand’s first roadster fitted with a retractable hardtop roof.
The success of modern-day BMW roadsters is rooted in the rigorous execution of a concept, a process which has left its mark on both the design and the driving properties of each car and is clearly recognisable in the new BMW Z4. The sweeping bonnet, long wheelbase, low belt-line and low-slung rear end play a more vivid and uncompromising part in shaping its appearance than is evident with any of its segment rivals.
The low seating position just ahead of the rear axle gives the driver and passenger a particularly intense experience of the longitudinal and lateral forces working on the rear wheels. This sense of being “part of the car” also allows the driver to grade the amount of power he’s feeding through the rear axle with sensitivity and precision. That is the recipe for roadster feeling, BMW-style.
The hardtop roof also blends seamlessly into the car’s form. As it closes, it seals a smoothly flowing roofline, while large window surfaces optimise all-round visibility and the feeling of space inside the car.
Once opened, the two roof elements are accommodated, one on top of the other, in a compact package inside the roadster’s road-hugging rear. The hardtop can be opened at the touch of a button while the car is moving at up to 40km/h (25mph ) in an automated process lasting 19 seconds.
The distinctive twin circular headlights team up with the broad BMW kidney grille to form a roadster-specific interpretation of the brand’s signature front-end look. The standard bi-xenon headlights of the new BMW Z4 have an extremely slim design and extend well into the front wheel arches. They feature LED light rings which emit daytime driving light in the brand’s hallmark style.
A total of 11 external paint finishes are available for the new BMW Z4, including the new mineral grey metallic, glacier silver metallic and Valencia orange metallic, which can only be ordered together with the Design Pure Traction option. This new equipment package lends the roadster an extremely lively aura; the interior, for example, boasts an energy-charged contrast of black and orange. The bespoke Alcantara door panel trim, like the lower section of the instrument panel, comes in orange. The black leather seats have contrast stitching in Valencia orange and an accent stripe running down the central section of the backrests and seat cushions.
New interior additions to standard specification include high-gloss black surrounds for the central air vents and the iDrive control system’s folding control display, which comes as part of the optional navigation system. Elsewhere, exquisite fineline anthracite wood has been added to the selection of interior trim strips available as an option for the new BMW Z4. The BMW Z4 sDrive28i, BMW Z4 sDrive35i and BMW Z4 sDrive35is are offered with Kansas leather trim, which is available as an option for the two other models.
The BMW Z4 will be available with a larger, five-strong line-up of petrol engines from launch, and customers will be able to choose from three four-cylinder and two six-cylinder powerplants. Their most significant shared feature is International Engine of the Year award winning BMW twinpower turbo technology, which ensures an exceptionally effective balance between driving pleasure and fuel consumption throughout the output range. All variants of the new BMW Z4 already meet – as standard – the stipulations of the EU6 exhaust emissions standard due to come into force in 2014.