The Z4 roadster is perhaps BMW’s only successful design centered around Chris Bangle’s "flame surfacing" design language. When it debuted, the Z4 was quite a feast for the eyes. Never had a roadster looked so organic. It’s a surprise then, that with the newest Z4, the design is rather safe and more conservative.
Starting with the front on the car, we can still see the Z4 has retained its trademark long hood. While the headlights are interesting, they seem to give the car ordinary appearance where the old car looked kind of wild. At the rear of the car, the BMW 6-series was clearly the influence as the tail lights are almost exact copies of that model. Overall, it’s a pleasing shape though, if a bit boring, compared to the older model.
On the inside, BMW has somewhat retained the previous theme of a "swash of metal" going across the cabin to form the dashboard. The usual, and generally excellent, sport seats are also there. While being a bit roomier than before, the cabin now also has more head room with the top up.
Oh yeah. About that top. Seems BMW couldn’t hold out any longer and just had to implement one of those neat folding hardtops into something. Why not the Z4? The new Z4 will only come in hardtop-convertible and will effectively eliminate the Z4 Coupe from the lineup, which is sad, seeing as that car is very cool. All that impressive folding sheet-metal also weighs a good deal. In fact this new Z4 weighs about 200 pounds more than its predecessor at about 3,240 pounds.
Power will come from BMW’s current lineup of naturally-aspirated and turbocharged inline-six engines. First up will be the Z4 sDrive30i, which is powered by the formally top-of-the-line 3.0-liter naturally-aspirated six making about 255-hp. The new top-dog engine in this model is now BMW’s highly revered 3.0-liter twin turbo six, putting out a satisfying 300 ponies and matching torque figures. This model will be known as the Z4 sDrive35i. On a side note, I don’t know what BMW is thinking with how they’re naming their cars nowadays, but frankly, it’s getting silly.
No word yet on pricing, or even when we can buy these new roadsters, but expect details to keep pouring out in the next couple of months. Don’t expect either car to start for anything less than $40,000, even for a base car. Whether or not BMW can match the sales figures of the old model with the new one remains to be seen. Knowing BMW though, it’s almost guaranteed.
Source: Road and Track
Photos: BMW AG