BMW has released the first official images and details of the new BMW Z4, ahead of its world debut at the Detroit Auto Show next month.
More powerful and more stylish than ever before, the new BMW Z4 will arrive in Australian showrooms in the third quarter of 2009.
The new roadster from BMW is the only open-top two seater in its class to combine classic roadster proportions, such as a long bonnet and flat belt line, with a low seating position just in front of the rear axle, rear-wheel drive and an automatically retractable hardtop.
The new BMW Z4 will be launched exclusively with straight-six power offering passionate drivers the choice of three in-line six cylinder petrol engines with power outputs ranging from 150 kW to 225 kW.
The straight-six engine line-up ensures customers benefit from the refinement and fast-revving response so typical of BMW six-cylinder engines as well as an unparalleled balance of performance and fuel economy in the premium roadster segment.
The BMW Z4 sDrive35i is powered by the multi award-winning and world’s first straight-six power unit to feature Twin Turbo technology, High Precision Injection with direct injection of fuel, and an all-aluminium crankcase.
The 3.0-litre straight-six develops 225 kW and 400 Nm of torque accelerating the roadster from 0-100 km/h in 5.2 seconds (automatic: 5.1 seconds). Combined fuel consumption is 9.8 litres for the manual and 9.4 litres for the automatic.
Offering spontaneous power and performance, refinement and outstanding efficiency, the two six-cylinder naturally-aspirated power units in the BMW Z4 sDrive30i and the BMW Z4 sDrive23i again offer the very best in their segments.
Weighing just 161 kg and, respec tively, 158.5 kg both power units, thanks to their composite magnesium/aluminium crankcase, cylinder head covers made of a special synthetic material and lightweight camshafts with aluminium VANOS control units, are exceptionally light.
While BMW VALVETRONIC engine management controls valve stroke on the intake valves, double-VANOS varies the angle of the intake and outlet valves in an infinite process. This reduces cycle change phases to a minimum and allows particularly efficient use of fuel, providing a “beefy” torque curve and giving the engine optimum response.
The power unit in the BMW Z4 sDrive30i develops maximum output of 190 kW from 3.0 litres capacity and maximum torque of 310 Newton-metres. With this kind of power, the BMW Z4 sDrive30i accelerates from a standstill to 100 km/h in 5.8 seconds (with six speed sports automatic in 6.1 seconds). Offering average fuel consumption of 9.2 litres in the EU test cycle (9.0 litres with six speed sports automatic), the new BMW Z4 sDrive30i provides an impressively good balance of acceleration and fuel economy.
Displacing 2.5 litres with the same technology as on the 3.0-litre power unit, the engine featured in the BMW Z4 sDrive23i offers an unusually good balance of sportiness and efficiency, developing maximum output of 150 kW and peak torque of 250 Newton-metres.
Accelerating from a standstill to 100 km/h in 6.6 seconds (with six speed sports automatic in 7.3 seconds), the BMW Z4 sDrive23i consumes 9.2 litres (with six speed sports automatic: 8.9 litres) per 100 kilometres making it a highly efficient entry-level model.
Buyers of the most powerful model, the BMW Z4 sDrive35i, can opt for a seven-speed sports automatic transmission complete with double clutch gearbox instead of the standard six-speed manual transmission. The other models are available with a six-speed automatic transmission with optimised shift-points.
All sports automatic transmissions feature gearshift paddles on the steering wheel.
The low-slung front end of the new BMW Z4 is characterised by the large upright BMW kidney grille, wide air intake and dual round headlights so typical of the BMW brand with bi-xenon headlights featured as standard.
The side view is dominated by the dynamic flow of the car’s shoulder line which accentuates the stretched, athletic look of the Roadster.
Further characteristic design features are the extra-large engine compartment lid extending far over the wheel arches, the black A-pillars, the gill intakes at the side with their integrated LED direction indicators, as well as the slender rear lights with their three-dimensional LED-fed rows of light units.
The retractable roof – the first ever on a BMW roadster - opens and closes conveniently by means of a switch in the centre console or by remote control on the central locking.
The two-section roof system features a lightweight aluminium shell design, and opens or closes electro-hydraulically at the touch of a button, in just 20 seconds.
The flow of fresh air may be dosed by a wind deflector fastened between the roll bars behind the headrests. The higher roofline and the larger door openings in size by 26 millimetres, allow even easier and more convenient access with the roof closed.
A new-look cockpit in the BMW Z4 features a centre console and instrument panel built around the driver, high-quality materials and exemplary build quality.
The side windows are 40 per cent larger than in the predecessor models and the useful area of the rear window is as much as 52 per cent larger.
High-quality leather seats with integrated headrests are fitted standard and are available in three different colours.
The new BMW Z4 now features many more storage options, with the number and size of the compartments setting it apart from its competitors.
Luggage capacity, now offering enough space even with the hardtop open for a medium-sized hard-shell suitcase, varies between 180 and 310 litres – outstanding figures for a roadster with a hardtop.
Using the standard through-loading to the passenger compartment, the driver and passenger are also able to accommodate a full-size golf bag. And when the roof is closed the luggage compartment easily accommodates up to four crates of large bottles or – when using the through-loading feature – two full size golf bags without the slightest problem.
The storage and luggage options on the new BMW Z4 include a ten litre glove box, folding compartments in the door lining, storage tray in the centre console as well as additional storage space behind the gearshift or selector lever, a 1.6-litre compartment beneath the armrest and yet another storage box in the instrument panel.
Yet a further feature is the crosswise storage compartment extending across the full interior width of the new BMW Z4 behind the rear seats as a feature absolutely unique in this segment offering all kinds of storage options.
With its precise steering, perfectly balanced chassis and Dynamic Driving Control, the new BMW Z4 is able to combine ride comfort with a genuine sports-car driving experience.
Standard fitment of Dynamic Drive Control in the new BMW Z4 enables the driver to vary the set-up of the drivetrain and suspension at the touch of a button in three modes.
Drivers can switch between NORMAL, SPORT and SPORT+, depending on whether they prefer a smoother or a sportier ride.
Switching modes alters the throttle response, the level of power steering assist, the response thresholds of Dynamic Stability Control, the shift points for the optional automatic transmission, and the setting of the optional adaptive M suspensions with its electronically adjustable dampers.
Featuring a double-joint tiebar front axle made largely of aluminium and further enhanced by spring struts and a centrally guided rear axle, the new BMW Z4 comes with proven axle concepts in a configuration perfectly tailored to the specific characteristics of BMW’s unique Roadster.
A particularly outstanding feature is consistent lightweight technology in the area of the front axle, the double-joint construction offering ideal conditions for supreme dynamics thanks to kinematic arrangement of the various components.
The rear axle of the BMW Z4 Roadster, in turn, stands out through its compact configuration and precise wheel guidance, clear distribution of functions between the longitudinal arms connected to the body and the track control arms pivoting on the rear axle subframe facilitating the set-up of the suspension. As a result, directional stability, steering behaviour and lane change stability may all be optimised independently of one another.
Electric Power Steering enhances the precision and comfort of steering manoeuvres and at the same time reduces fuel consumption.
The new BMW Z4 comes with new high-performance brakes standing out through their powerful deceleration, fading-free characteristics, low weight, and low brake pad wear. At the same time the BMW Z4 is the first car in its segment to feature an electrical parking brake activated and released by a button on the centre console.
The BMW Z4 sDrive23i and the BMW Z4 sDrive30i come as standard on 17-inch light-alloy rims and the BMW Z4 sDrive35i is fitted with 18-inch light-alloy wheels. All version of are fitted with runflat safety tyres, a Tyre Defect Indicator and the latest generation of Dynamic Stability Control.
The sports-car driving experience in the new BMW Z4 can be enhanced by the optional adaptive M Suspension, featuring electronically controlled dampers. The adaptive M Suspension lowers the entire car by 10 millimetres and a central control unit varies the inbound and rebound stages on the four twin-sleeve gas pressure dampers to provide optimum response at all times.
The new BMW Z4 is slightly larger outside than its predecessor, yet offers significantly more comfort in terms of space and a lot more loading space. The roadster is 4,239 millimetres long, 1,790 millimetres wide and 1,291 millimetres high. Wheelbase measures 2,496 millimetres.
Apart from all-round visibility, the interior offers greater headroom (+ 5 millimetres), extra shoulder room (+ 20 millimetres) and more elbow freedom (+ 43 millimetres).
The door opening has increased in size by 26 millimetres allowing even more convenient access with the roof closed.
The extremely stiff body shell, lightweight construction and harmonious axle load distribution enhance both the safety and agility of the new BMW Z4.
High load-resistant carrier structures, optimum use of deformation travel, the extremely stiff passenger cell and highly efficient restraint systems ensure absolutely outstanding accident safety. Frontal and head/thorax airbags, belt latch tensioners and belt force limiters are activated by the sensor-controlled electronic safety system as a function of the type and severity of a collision. The head/thorax airbags are integrated on the outside of the seat backrests and inflate over a large surface in the event of a collision from the side.
Sun Reflective Technology, an innovative type of leather, on the seats, the interior panels and the steering wheel significantly reduce the heat effect of bright sunshine.
The latest generation of BMW iDrive is available on the BMW Z4, featuring an 8.8-inch high-resolution Control Display with a resolution of 1,280 x 480 pixels, and 80 GB hard disk with 12 GB available for music.
The sDrive part of the model designations for the new BMW Z4 refers to the handling characteristics of the rear-wheel drive. As with the BMW X5 and BMW X6, the numbers do not relate to the actual engine capacity, but are intended to give and idea of the performance relative to other models in the range. The higher the number the better the performance. This system allows a distinction to be made between models with the same engine size but different levels of performance (e.g. the BMW Z4 sDrive30i and the BMW Z4 sDrive35i, both of which have 3.0-litre engines).
The new BMW Z4 will be built at BMW Plant Regensburg in Germany.
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