Prices for the new BMW Z4 roadster have been announced. The German firm’s latest drop-top sports car acts as a direct rival to the Porsche 718 Boxster S, with entry-level models starting from £36,990.
Buyers have the choice of three engines, all of which send their power to the rear wheels. Base-model Z4s get a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol with 194bhp and 320Nm of torque, allowing a 0–62mph time of 6.6 seconds and a top speed of 149mph.
Mid-range Z4 sDrive 30i variants, priced from £40,690, get a re-tuned version of the same 2.0-litre petrol engine with 254bhp and 400Nm of torque. As such, its 0–62mph time falls to 5.4 seconds while its top speed rises to an electronically-limited 155mph.
The range-topping BMW Z4 M40i starts at £49,050. It shares its turbocharged 3.0-litre straight-six petrol engine with the new Toyota Supra, producing 335bhp and 500Nm of torque. BMW claims a 0–62mph sprint of 4.6 seconds and a top speed of 155mph.
BMW’s new Z4 will only be available with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The German firm originally planned to provide its entry-level Z4 sDrive20i with an optional six-speed manual gearbox, but those plans have been scrapped due to low market demand.
Two trim levels will be offered for the 2.0-litre BMW Z4s; ‘Sport’ and ‘M Sport.’ ‘Sport’ models come with 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, a black electronically-operated folding soft-top, a gloss black splitter and a black rear diffuser. M Sport models add 18-inch ‘M Sport’ alloys, a revised front bumper, wider side skirts and a more aggressive rear bumper.
The top-spec Z4 M40i will only be available in ‘M Performance’ trim. Upgrades over the M Sport trim level include 19-inch alloy wheels, a redesigned kidney grille, grey wing mirror caps and trapezoidal exhaust tailpipes.
Inside, the Z4 features a pair of heated, leather-upholstered sports seats, a 10.25 digital instrument cluster, a dash-mounted 10.25-inch infotainment system, a 10-speaker stereo system and customisable ambient lighting.
Optional extras include a 12-speaker Harman/Kardon audio system, an Anthracite soft-top, a wind deflector, a head-up display and a suite of safety technology including a lane-change warning, active cruise control and a rear-collision prevention system.
M Sport Z4s can be specced with a range of unique optional chassis upgrades, including adaptive dampers, uprated brakes and an electronically-controlled locking differential. These additions are activated via BMW’s ‘Driving Experience Control’ system, giving owners a choice of either ‘Comfort,’ ‘Sport’ or ‘Sport+’ driving modes.
BMW Z4: design and platform
The new BMW Z4’s looks and proportions stick pretty closely to those previewed on a concept that was revealed at Pebble Beach, California, in 2018. There’s a particularly short overhang at the front end, and a visible decrease in wheelbase compared with the outgoing Z4.
The new roadster has been developed in a joint project with Toyota, although the two models to emerge from the shared process – the Z4 and the Japanese firm’s Supra – are substantially different. BMW’s offering is a convertible only; the Toyota will be sold exclusively as a coupe.
Against the tape measure the new Z4 comes in at 85mm longer than its predecessor (at 4,324mm), 74mm wider (now 1,864mm) and 13mm taller (1,304mm). Also, the old Z4’s folding aluminium hardtop has been ditched in favour of a lighter fabric system, contributing to the new Z4’s 50kg weight-loss.
Suspension-wise, the new Z4 features double wishbones up front and a multi-link setup at the rear, which BMW claims will offer a good compromise between handling and sportiness. To help reduce unsprung weight, the front control arms and swivel bearings are aluminium, while the rear axle is a blend of aluminium and steel.
Boot capacity drops to 281 litres but that figure remains unchanged whether the roof is open or closed, and BMW’s optional through-loading system allows transportation of longer items. In the outgoing Z4, the 310-litre load bay dropped to 180 litres with the roof stowed.
Click here to read all about our early prototype drive of the new BMW Z4…