The new BMW Z4
The new BMW Z4: Introduction
BMW has a long and illustrious history of building two seat sports cars. From the very first 3/15 PA Wartburg Roadster in 1930, BMW has produced highly distinctive roadsters. With their long bonnet, setback glasshouse, front engine rear-wheel-drive configuration and with the two seats positioned close to the rear axle, every BMW roadster lives up to the ultimate driving machine promise.
Now, nearly 80 years after the first BMW roadster went on sale, the latest has been launched in the UK. Featuring a host of innovations never before featured on a BMW of this type, the new 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 BMW Z4 is also the first roadster to be offered with Adaptive M Sport Suspension. This system features a ride height 10mm lower than the standard car for a more dynamic drive. Adaptive M Sport Suspension also comes with electronically controlled dampers that offer three different configurations from Normal to Sport+ so a driver can fine tune the car's set-up.
The standard Drive Dynamic Control function is another BMW roadster first and allows the driver to alter the chassis configuration to suit their needs. Now the vehicle has the capability to morph between comfortable yet sporty cruiser through to outright performance car. 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 can all be altered.
Model / Price OTR / Power Hp / Torque Nm / 0-62mph Secs / Top speed mph / Combined mpg / Emissions g/km BMW Z4 sDrive23i / £28,645 / 204 / 250 / 6.6 / 151 / 33.2 / 199 BMW Z4 sDrive30i / £32,660 / 258 / 310 / 5.8 / 155* / 33.2 / 199 BMW Z4 sDrive35i / £37,060 / 306 / 400 / 5.2 / 155* / 30.1 / 219
To underscore the potency of the new BMW Z4 the model comes with a choice of three high output six-cylinder powerplants. The range flagship is an International Engine of the Year winner in the shape of the 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged engine. The 306hp BMW Z4 sDrive35i powers its way from zero to 62mph in 5.2 seconds before going on to an electronically-limited top speed of 155mph. The strong performance credentials are matched in terms of economy and emissions.
The Z4 sDrive35i records a combined consumption figure of 30.1mpg and CO2 emissions of 219g/km. It is worth nothing that the sDrive35i can be specified with a Double Clutch Transmission and a vehicle so equipped records a faster zero to 62mph time of 5.1 seconds, 31.4mpg consumption and lower CO2 emissions at 210g/km.
Joining this model in the launch line-up are the Z4 sDrive23i and the Z4 sDrive30i. Both use the same magnesium aluminium alloy engine with Double VANOS and VALVETRONIC technology, but with varying capacities. The 2.5-litre entry-level Z4 sDrive23i produces 204hp to achieve its zero to 62mph time of 6.6 seconds and a top speed of 151mph. In contrast the Z4 sDrive23i is capable of a combined 33.2mpg and CO2 emissions of 199g/km.
The BMW Z4 sDrive30i comes with a 3.0-litre powerplant producing 258hp. The six-cylinder engine records a zero to 62mph time of 5.8 seconds before going on to an electronically-limited top speed of 155mph. Like the Z4 sDrive23i, the Z4 sDrive30i posts impressive combined consumption and CO2 emission figures, recording 33.2mpg and 199g/km.
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 a seven-speed Double Clutch Transmission, again with gear shift paddles located on the steering wheel.
Increased comfort and practicality
BMW's latest roadster is larger than its predecessor measuring 148mm longer at 4,239mm and 9mm wider at 1,790mm, and this results in greater interior space and luggage capacity. With the roof up, headroom has been increased by 44mm while the greater car width and design enhancements have led to 20mm more shoulder room and 43mm more elbow room.
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.
The most recent incarnation of iDrive makes its first appearance on a Z4. The optional BMW Professional Multimedia Navigation system features a hard disc drive capable of 12Gb of audio file storage and BMW ConnectedDrive functionality. A vehicle specified with this system also comes with eight programmable Favourite buttons as system shortcuts.
The new BMW Z4 has been introduced to compete head-on with the two big biggest sellers in the UK premium roadster market - the Mercedes SLK and the Audi TT Roadster. According to BMW's own market research one of the key reasons for selecting the Mercedes over the previous BMW Z4 was the added benefit of a folding metal roof. The majority of buyers in this segment also craved a degree more comfort and practicality. The designers and engineers of the new BMW Z4 took these considerations on board so the BMW Z4 should now appeal to a broader church, while at the same time not diluting the range's previous excellent driving dynamics.
The latest BMW 'art car'
The new BMW Z4 has been launched worldwide with the assistance of South African-born artist Robin Rhode. He used a specially prepared version of the new BMW Z4 as a paint brush to help create a 1,800m2 piece of installation art that formed the basis of the worldwide advertising and marketing campaign. The making of the advert can be seen by logging on to www.bmw-web.tv Since this was first filmed pieces from the shoot have been exhibited at Grand Central Station in New York and at other locations around the world.
A computer game that allows you to create your own Z4 and paint a Robin Rhode-esque picture has also been created. This is available for download at www.bmw.co.uk/....
- First BMW roadster with Retractable Hard Top roof.
- First BMW roadster offered with Adaptive M Sport Suspension.
- Three engines offered from launch: 204hp Z4 sDrive23i, 258hp Z4 sDrive30i and 306hp Z4 sDrive35i.
- Range priced from £28,645 OTR to £37,060 OTR.
- For more information on the BMW Z4 visit www.bmw-web.tv, www.bmw.co.uk and www.press.bmwgroup.com/...
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