New BMW Z4
Feast your eyes on BMW’s all-new sports car: the Z4. Due to go on sale at the end of next year, the Porsche Boxster rival is being given a fresh look, with a bulging bonnet hump, larger twin kidney grilles and wide stance.
The original ‘flame surfacing’ styling, pioneered by former BMW design chief Chris Bangle, is still present, but it’s been toned down with a simpler, more athletic shape.
And the newcomer has a big trick up its sleeve: a folding metal roof. This retractable steel top will be similar in design to that on the company’s latest 3-Series Convertible, and will be offered alongside a traditional soft-top model. The Z4 will also feature a new range of powerful engines, including a twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre straight-six. There’s also the possibility of diesel power – which would be a first for the range.
A flagship M model could get the new 4.0-litre V8 from the M3 – although most versions will still be sold with four-cylinder and normally aspirated six-cylinder petrol powerplants. BMW’s new seven-speed SMG DCT twin-clutch transmission will also be available in the roadster for the first time.
All models will benefit from the manufacturer’s Efficient Dynamics programme, which uses stop/start technology to reduce emissions and improve fuel economy.
Under the skin, the platform is shared with the latest 3-Series, so the rear-wheel-drive Z4 will continue to offer sharp handling.