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In-depth reviews

BMW Z4 review – design

The Z4 is a talented roadster with much in its favour, just don’t expect Boxster levels of tactility

Evo rating
  • Accurate steering, strong performance and grip
  • Not as sporting or involving as you might expect

The Z4 is an attractive design, although perhaps not quite as good looking as the concept that did the rounds prior to the production car’s reveal. There is some overly fussy detailing around the front end and the mesh-type kidney grilles on the high-end models don’t quite gel properly.

The Sport, which will probably be a rare sight on UK roads thanks to our seemingly undying love for the M Sport model, is a less fussy looking design, doing without some of the styling excesses of the M Sport.

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It’s perhaps the Z4’s proportions that make it look a little gawky, especially in photos – it does look better in the flesh than it seems to in pictures. It’s 85mm longer than the previous-generation Z4, yet its wheelbase has actually been shortened by 26mm, which has had the effect of increasing the front and rear overhangs. Combine this with front and rear tracks that have been increased by 98mm and 57mm (front and rear respectively) and you end up with a car that looks a little bit stumpy. And thanks to those widened tracks the Z4 is now just 4mm narrower than a 5-series – surely not a good thing in a machine purporting to have sporting intentions.

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