BMW Z4 Roadster
The new BMW Z4 roadster has been revealed, with a more powerful engine available and a few new tricks up its sleeve.
3.0-liter twin-turbo inline-six
The tragically named Z4 sDrive35i features a twin-turbocharged, 3,0-liter inline-six that outputs 300 horsepower. The lesser Z4 sDrive30i features the same 255 horsepower 3.0-liter inline-six as the current model.
Putting that power to the road is a six-speed manual transmission or, in the case of the sDrive35i, a seven-speed double clutch transmission (DCT).
When equipped with the DCT, the Z4 sDrive35i rips off 0-60 mph sprints in five seconds flat.
Top speed for the Z4 is an electronically limited 120 mph; unless the Sport Package is equipped, then the limit is raised to 150 mph.
Front end with bi-xenon headlamps
The new Z4 features larger, more swept-back headlamps with bi-xenon projectors.
LED turn signals
LED turn signals allow for brighter and faster illumination for the indicators, while using less power than incandescents.
A new side marker design separates the BMW propeller badge and the indicator light, visually stretching the front fender.
Z4 sDrive35i front
The Z4's new creased hood helps to make the new roadster look much longer than the current model. In fact, the new model shares the same wheelbase as the current Z4 and is only 5.8 inches longer from nose to tail.
Z4 sDrive35i rear
Out back a less aggressive "duck tail" and new tail lamps finish up the new long and sleek look.
The Z4's tail lamps have been brought inline with the design of BMW's other offerings, featuring tiny integrated reverse lights.
The most obvious change is only visible when the top is up. The new Z4 is equipped with a retractable hardtop that goes from open to closed, and vice versa, in 20 seconds at the touch of a button.
While the new Z4 looks good from almost every angle, we think the head-on view looks a bit cross-eyed. The new headlamps and wider kidney grilles make the Z4 look lower and wider, although it's actually equally wide and slightly taller than the current Z4.
Trunk space is still a scarcity, but BMW claims that two golf bags will fit with the top up.
View from the side, the Z4's profile more or less remains intact. The less pronounced "duck tail" is much more visible from this angle and the rear end takes on a slightly Porsche Boxter-esque downward slope.
Adaptive M Suspension with Electronic Damping Control
The aforementioned Sport Package includes the Adaptive M Suspension with Electronic Damping Control which allows the Z4's digital brain or the driver to adjust the characteristics of the suspension on the fly.
Dynamic Drive Control
Dynamic Drive Control allows the driver of the new Z4 to choose the drive characteristics of the car. In addition to changing damper forces on the Adaptive M Suspension, DDC also conditions the responses of the gas pedal, the power steering, and the response thresholds of Dynamic Stability Control. And if the car is fitted with either sport automatic transmission, the adaptive gearshift logarithms are adjusted.
Inside the Z4 gets a much need cockpit facelift. An optional 80 GB hard drive-based navigation system features an 8.8-inch widescreen display in the center of the dashboard.
Climate control and audio
Beneath these fantastic looking climate controls, the BMW features a standard MP3 compatible CD player. Optionally a 14 speaker plus two subwoofer, 650 watt premium audio system is available.
When equipped with the navigation option, the Z4 will utilize BMW's new iDrive controller and operating system.
See you in Detroit
The new Z4 roadster is scheduled to bow at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show in January.