BMW has released full details of its full Z4 Roadster line up after the flagship M40i’s reveal at Pebble Beach last month. In addition to the six-cylinder model, BMW has confirmed that it’ll also be available with two further turbocharged four-cylinder engines as well as diverging further detail about what lies underneath the Z4’s new bodywork.
Those two four-cylinder engines both make use of BMW’s TwinPower turbocharging tech and go by 20i and 30i model names. Both engines are the same turbocharged 2-litre TwinPower four-cylinder engine found across the BMW model range in everything from the Mini Cooper S right through to the BMW 740e iPerformance. Here, the power units produce 194bhp and 254bhp respectively and both, contrary to previous reports, will only be available with an eight-speed automatic transmission sourced from ZF. Despite the relatively low power outputs, acceleration is still strong, taking 6.1 and 5.4 seconds to reach 62mph.
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As previously confirmed the Z4 range will be headlined by the M40i, powered by a 335bhp twin-turbocharged 3-litre straight-six TwinPower unit. Like the other models, the M40i’s sole transmission will be an 8-speed automatic, controlled via BMW’s new gear selector or paddles behind the steering wheel. Also specific to the M40i First Edition are adaptive dampers, a limited slip differential and uprated brakes over standard models. BMW state that the new Z4 M40i will reach 62mph in 4.6 seconds, with a top speed likely limited to 155mph.
This new generation Z4 promises to be a sportier car than its more laid back predecessor, too, trading its folding hardtop for a lighter, simpler folding fabric roof, and featuring a new chassis with a reduced wheelbase (-26mm) and wider stance (+74mm). BMW’s usual 50:50 weight distribution has been maintained, although overall weight has not been confirmed. Unlike previous Z4s, which featured a very long bonnet and short tail, the new car has somewhat more conservative proportions, with a shorter wheelbase and longer overhangs, leading to a slightly ungainly profile to our eyes. Unique to the First Edition is the ‘frozen’ paint finish, but basic body styling elements will also find their way onto standard M Sport models too.
The interior is a combination of new and familiar components. Integrated into a new dash layout is the latest i-Drive system, while underneath lies multiple controls familiar from the latest BMW 8-series and X5.
As you will likely already know, this new Z4 has been developed in tandem with the forthcoming Toyota Supra, a partnership that has allowed Toyota to avoid some of the costs involved in developing this type of sports car on its own. But as the Supra heads for a more hardcore sporting bias, we’re interested to know whether the German’s give the Z4 its own distinct spin.