Z4 goes back to its roots
TWO cylinders will fall off the BMW Z4 as the sportscar returns to its four-cylinder roots. The Z4 is rumoured to get a 180kW-plus 2-litre engine with a twin-scroll turbocharger to replace the 2.5-litre sDrive23i and 3-litre sDrive30i normally aspirated six-cylinder models.
It would leave the Z4 with the four plus its 3-litre turbocharged six that comes in two levels of output. Expect an announcement within a year. It’s hardly the first time BMW has put a four under the bonnet of its open-top sportscar range.
The last one was the Z3 with a 103kW/180Nm 1.9-litre four and a 0-100km/h time of 8.6 seconds, ditched in 1999 by a 2.3 or 2.5-litre six.
The Z3 — incidentally the US-made roadster was the first new-model BMW to be built outside of Germany — was previewed in 1996 in the James Bond film which helped sales.
BMW has also announced that Karim Habib is the new head of exterior design. The 40-year-old designer already spent the first 10 years of his career working for the BMW Group, during which time he was responsible for the current BMW 7 Series range and the BMW Concept CS.
Habib studied in California and held various roles in BMW, in interior and exterior design before being appointed team leader, advanced design for the BMW Group.
SPEED looks to be far more important than appearance to the little-known Roding Automobile company. There is nothing remotely good-looking about the German company’s upcoming Roadster 23 — even its camouflage is ugly.
But Roding is not aiming to win any design awards.
It just wants the Roadster 23 to match the high performance of a Porsche 911 GT2 turbo. Carparazzi caught the prototype of the Roadster 23 during hot laps at the Nurburgring racetrack in Germany, where the company is fine-tuning the car to match its performance claims.
Those targets are a top speed of 280km/h and a 0-100km/h sprint time of 3.9 seconds.
Once the ugly camouflage is stripped away, the Roadster 23 will compete against stripped- down road rockets such as the KTM X-Bow and Ariel Atom.
Roding intends to build only 23 cars to match its name.
Carparazzi says the Roadster 23 is fitted with a tweaked six-cylinder engine producing 225kW and 400Nm of torque, and will weigh just over 900kg, with seats for two and absolutely minimal bodywork.