The purest interpretation of the classic roadster recipe in the segment, perhaps.
German luxury marque BMW has gone into detail about how their new Z4 sports car, which was launched a while ago, will be arriving on Australian roads in April. There’ll be no less than three variants on offer which, joy of joys, will include the lusty M40i that this writer would sell his mother for.
“The all-new BMW Z4 is a triumphant return to our enduring Z-model heritage. It’s a real statement-piece for the brand, combining stand-out styling and impressive engine performance, with handling dynamics to really please the driver.” — Vikram Pawah, Chief Executive Officer, BMW Group Australia
The Z4 will be here in sDrive20i, sDrive30i, and M40i guises, with the former two packing a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol powerplant, and the latter a 3.0-litre inline-6. Either way, power will be sent to the rear wheels via the vaunted 8-speed ZF automatic gearbox.
What’s interesting with the new Z4 is its design, which is a marked departure from the current BMW family of cars. This isn’t new for the Z4 – in all three generations, the Z4 has set itself apart from the family design, taking only choice bits and pieces and even then, interpreting them in a unique way. This is evident in the dual-halo BMW headlight signature for example, which is set up here in a vertical pattern for the first time. Also reinterpreted is the grille, which is now wider & flatter than previous applications, and features a modern 3D-look mesh. The rear is much the same, taking the current crop of BMW taillights and imagining them differently. It’s a pretty stunning design all-round.
Step inside and you are immediately greeted by a typically BMW design, but made unique for the Z4 due to the space constraints. What you end up with is a cabin that’s been made tight in order to incorporate all of the various features, like the 12.3-inch virtual display (a first for the Z4), and the 10.25-inch central infotainment screen that’s powered by BMW OS7.0.
Above you will sit a canvas roof which, according to BMW, evokes the memory of traditional roadster tops, that are also lighter & more compact than the metal-folding solutions employed by various other automakers. As a result it won’t compromise the 281L of boot space (which is a huge 101L larger than the outgoing car), and it’ll go up or down in 10-seconds at speeds of up to 50km/h.
The entry-level Z4 comes in the form of the sDrive20i at $84,990, with a 2.0-litre 4-pot putting out 145kW and 320Nm. Step up to the sDrive30i for $104,900, and you get that same engine putting out 190kW and 400Nm (and has smarter 19-inch alloys, M-Sport brakes, adaptive suspension, active LED headlights, and a digital key that you can integrate with your smartphone).
But you can also splash out for the Z4 M40i, which will offer up 250kW and 500Nm for just $124,900 of your hard-earned cash. It does soften the blow a bit thanks to that M Performance engine and unique suspension, 12-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, and electrically-controlled limited slip differential.
|Z4 sDrive20i||2.0L 4-Cyl Turbo||145kW/320Nm||6.6s||6.5L/100km|
|Z4 sDrive30i||2.0L 4-Cyl Turbo||190kW/400Nm||5.4s||6.5L/100km|
|Z4 M40i||3.0L 6-Cyl Turbo||250kw/500Nm||4.5s||7.5L/100km|