The latest in BMW’s long and successful roadster family has been revealed. The new BMW Z4 will go on sale in May 2009 and features a host of innovations never before showcased during BMW’s 75 years of roadster heritage.
The BMW Z4 is the first to come with a two-piece, electro-hydraulically operated retractable hard-top roof that can be raised or lowered in 20 seconds. The new roadster is also the first vehicle to be offered with Adaptive M Suspension. Electronically controlled dampers offer three different configurations and lower the ride height by up to 10mm for a more dynamic drive. By way of comparison, the Sport+ setting of the new car is comparable to the outgoing Z4’s standard ride comfort level.
The standard drive dynamic control function is another first and allows the driver to alter, depending on model specification, the throttle and steering response, level of ride comfort, dynamic stability control response and, on automatic or double clutch transmission cars, gear change times.
Powering the new BMW Z4 is a choice of three six-cylinder powerplants. The range flagship is the current International Engine of the Year winning 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged engine. And joining this model in the launch line-up are the Z4 sDrive23i and the Z4 sDrive30i. The latter comes with a 2,996cc powerplant offering 258hp at 6,600rpm.
Transmitting the power to the road in all three Z4s is a six-speed manual gearbox as standard. Customers of the Z4 sDrive23i and the Z4 sDrive30i who prefer the characteristics of an automatic can specify a six-speed sport automatic transmission featuring gear change paddles on the steering wheel. Buyers of the Z4 sDrive35i can choose the more advanced seven-speed double clutch transmission, again with gear shift paddles located on the steering wheel.
All of the latest BMW Z4s come as standard with facets of BMW’s award-winning EfficientDynamics programme - new technologies that improve engine performance while enhancing economy and cutting emissions.
The new BMW Z4 is larger than its predecessor and this results in greater interior space and luggage capacity. With the roof up, headroom has been increased, while the greater car width and design enhancements have led to a little more shoulder room and more elbow room.
For the first time on a BMW Z4 there is a bespoke storage facility located behind the driver and passenger seats. This approximately 15.5-litre single compartment stretches the width of the car’s interior and features netting to hold the contents in place.
Driver visibility in the BMW Z4 has also been improved. All round visibility is up by 14 per cent while, courtesy of the four electric windows creating a larger glasshouse, side visibility is up 40 per cent. The retractable hard-top roof features a glass rear window and this too improves visibility by 52 per cent.
Irish prices for the new BMW Z4 will be announced in 2009.