Launched in the 1980s, the BMW Z1 was the German manufacturer’s first entry to the roadster segment. The formula was simple, a long hood, a nice engine, rear wheel drive, a fold-able roof and 2 seats. BMW had success with this model and kept releasing roadster models in the years to follow. The latest roadster to be offered by BMW, called the Z4, has been around for quite sometime and it has received an all new update. The new generation Z4 was unveiled at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance during the Monterey car week in California, USA. The new Z4 is developed with Toyota, which will share the underpinnings of the roadster with their new Supra. While the Z4 will always retain its roadster avatar, the Supra, will be available as a coupe.
The car revealed, dubbed the Z4 m40i is equipped with a 3 litre twin turbocharged straight six which develops 340 HP and 500 Nm, mated to an 8-speed ZF automatic gearbox, gets no manual option. The car sends power to the rear wheels and features an electronic differential which is great to have an occasional ‘Tail out” moment on a Sunday drive. The car has a top speed of 250 kmph and the ton comes in about 4.6 seconds. There are rumours of BMW launching m30i and m20i variants of the roadster, reports also suggest a possibility of a six speed manual in the m20i.
The exterior takes design cues from the Z4 concept that we had seen earlier. The retractable hard top from the last generation Z4 is now replaced with an electronically folding soft top which saves about 50 kg of weight. The soft top has been designed without a cover which enables the top to fold up or down in a whopping 10 seconds. The long bonnet spreads across the width of the car, meeting the wheel arches on either side, keeps the front of the car clean with minimum panel gaps. The car features new headlamps which follow a vertical set up and 19 inch alloy wheels finished in dual tone paint which cover mSport brakes. The interior is quite similar for a BMW user but feature modern touches and look amazing. The car comes with two display screens, one in the centre which has a touch screen set up and one behind the driver wheel which serves as an instrument panel. All buttons are in a typical BMW layout but with revamped looks and features. Storage space is sufficient as per roadster standards and behind the seats is a panel to access the boot. The car could also get a key park system seen in other BMW models.
The car looks promising and could give the 718 Boxster a run for its money. With the car just unveiled for the world, its still a long time before we see it hit the roads. Will India get it? Well the chances are pretty high because the last gen Z4 was available in the Indian market and loved by many, BMW would not want to miss out the Indian market space, with the M2 competition already on its way, the Z4 can also be expected to come soon. Below is an image gallery to the Z4 concept.