Z READY

Af­ter one of the long­est waits for a new BMW, the Z4 fi­nally broke cover in strik­ing M40i First Edi­tion trim at Peb­ble Beach

Car (South Africa) - - INSIGHT -

POWER TO THE SIX

In a cli­mate favour­ing down­siz­ing and four-cylin­der en­gines, it’s heart­en­ing to see the Z4 will ad­here to BMW’S tra­di­tion of slot­ting a six-cylin­der unit into the noses of its sportscars. The M40i model is pow­ered by a tur­bocharged 3,0-litre in­line-six cou­pled with a torque-con­verter auto ‘box with pad­dle shifters. Its sub-5,0-sec­ond 0-100 km/h sprint time bodes well for the me­chan­i­cally re­lated but pos­si­bly more pow­er­ful Toy­ota Supra.

NO LONGER HARD-HEADED

BMW has dis­pensed with the me­chan­i­cally com­plex fold­ing hard­top in favour of a lighter, elec­tri­cally op­er­ated can­vas hood. A coupé ver­sion of the Z4 will not be of­fered, with the tin-top ar­range­ment be­com­ing the pre­serve of the Supra. Con­versely, the Toy­ota will not be sold as a con­vert­ible, an ar­range­ment that the re­spec­tive com­pa­nies hope will pre­vent any over­lap.

BACK IN BLACK (AND OR­ANGE)

In keep­ing with BMW’S First Edi­tion de­sign ethos, many of the Z4’s key fea­tures will be painted in a gloss-black fin­ish to con­trast with the bold Frozen Or­ange Metal­lic paint­work. This treat­ment ex­tends to such el­e­ments as the front wing gills that feed cool­ing air to the brakes, the mesh front-apron in­serts, 19-inch al­loy wheels and the sur­rounds for the kid­ney grilles and rear dif­fuser.

FIRST UP FAST

The Z4’s First Edi­tion pack­age also ush­ers in pow­er­ful M Sport brakes, adap­tive dampers and an elec­tron­i­cally ac­tu­ated dif­fer­en­tial on the rear axle. A drive train-man­age­ment sys­tem with pre­sets for trans­mis­sion, throt­tle and steer­ing re­sponse also fea­tures.

CLEANER CABIN

Fol­low­ing the re­cent trend of car­mak­ers shun­ning ana­logue in­stru­men­ta­tion, the Z4 sports a dig­i­tal ar­ray with a wide in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem and smaller cli­mate-con­trol touch panel. The idrive sys­tem will con­tinue to utilise a ro­tary con­troller, while an op­tional sur­round­sound au­dio sys­tem by Har­man Kar­don takes care of the open­road sound­track.

ETA: Q1 2019

Power: 250 kw Torque: 500 N.m 0-100 km/h: 4,6 sec Top speed: 250 km/h

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