New Z4 is fine... but is that enough?
Don’t worry – it’s been a long time coming, but they haven’t messed it up
The journey from concept to production isn’t always an easy one, and our immediate hunch is that the BMW Z4’s was particularly fraught. From a clean, simple and sophisticated show car, this is the third-gen Z4 you’ll actually be able to buy.
Does it look a bit like an old Merc SLK in its proportions, or is that just us? Either way, this First Edition – a Z4 M40i – gets a 335bhp 3.0-litre straight-six turbo, driving the rear wheels via a paddleshift gearbox and an M Sport differential. The Z4’s not always been especially adept at handling, but giving this MkIII version a better go at taking down the Porsche Boxster is 50:50 weight distribution – the driver and passenger placed right in the middle – and some electronically controlled dampers. The Z4’s returned to its roots with a regular soft-top too, which should make it lighter and more agile than the folding hard-top car it replaces.
This First Edition comes in the same Frozen Orange paint as that concept, with its debut at the same place – Pebble Beach. The rest of the range and more in-depth technical details will be revealed at the Paris Motor Show in October.
Out goes the folding hard-top, in comes a fabric roof – Z4 returns to its original remit...