The ravishing new BMW Z4 would make necks curl and eyes pop without even letting its top down. We just took the beauty out for a date.
The BMW Z4 is one of the most modern interpretations of the traditionally iconic roadster body type for automobiles. Having made its debut in the year 2002, the Z4 replaced the Z3 model. It’s been more than a decade since the Z4 first made its appearance, and the car that we here in these pictures is the mid-life facelift of the second gen avatar of the model. The most modern and visually enchanting exponent of BMWs roadster lineup till date is one charming machine to drive too.
Images: Amit Chhangani and Yatharth Chauhan
Meant to fuse together the timeless lines of a classic roadster body type with modern technology and an involving drive feel for the man behind the wheel, the Z4 has a characteristic flavor and appeal. Defined in form by a long bonnet, low beltline, extremely low seating position and stubby rear end, the Z4 reeks of sportiness and agility no matter which angle you look at it from. A long sweeping line emanating from the headlamps and ending behind the door visually pronounces the length of the car in profile. Low center of gravity and a seating position just ahead of the rear axle delivers an unmatched drive feel to the occupants as the transverse and longitudinal G-Forces at work on the rear wheels can be experienced aplenty.
While we love the Z4 much more with its top down, the car looks amazing with its metal roof up as well. The tin top takes just 19 seconds to cover the occupants or disappear in that short trunk, and can be put on or brought down while the car is still moving at speeds of up to 40km/h.
The A-pillars of the Z4 are painted in black to provide a sense of continuity to the body color when the roof is down; thus visually enhancing the long, streamlined shape of the car. The satin silver finish rollover bars, while offering safety in the rare occasion of a rollover, also offer great contrast to the special orange shade our test car came drenched in.
So how well does all of that design exercise work in the real world? Well, we witnessed windows of cars surrounding us at traffic lights roll down to take pictures, motorcyclists traveling in the opposite direction twisted their necks to have a proper look at the car, and some motorists in Aamby Valley actually turned their cars around to have another look. The Z4, thus, is one of the simplest ways possible to turn yourselves into a celebrity from the moment you step in.
Engine and Transmission
Powering this lithe beauty from under that long, sweeping bonnet is a 3.0 liter inline-6 BMW TwinPower Turbo gasoline engine dishing out 306 bhp of power at 5,800 rpm and 400 Nm of peak torque spread between an incredibly wide rev-band of 1,300-5,000 rpm. Performance from this sporty machine, as you would expect is top notch, with 0-100km/h dispatched in about 5 seconds while top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h. Official fuel economy figure is above 10kmpl, but expect a much smaller figure if you drive this car the way it’s meant to be driven.
The engine, positioned at the front is driven via the rear wheels. Transmission duties are taken care of by the 7 speed DCT dual clutch transmission offering lightening quick shifts. The snappiness of the double clutch transmission as compared to the single clutch auto transmission available on the less expensive model is clearly perceptible. You may allow the car to shift automatically, or shift manually via the paddle-shifters mounted behind the steering wheel. Manual shifts can also be accomplished using the drive selector, by slotting the lever towards left. The Z4 offers Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus modes to choose from. While the former two offer a varying degree of engine response, transmission shift points and steering feedback, the third option turns off the electronic nanny (traction control) to let you slide the RWD machine around bends, if you so wish.