Car news

19 December 2012

It’s a new BMW Z4!*

*Not really new, but facelifted: hard-top roadster gets subtle re-jig and new engine…

Vijay Pattni
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Meet the brand new BMW Z4! Except of course, it's not brand new, just mildly new. BMW has taken this opportunity to give Z4 enthusiasts - and you number quite a few - an early Christmas present.

It will be presented for all the world and his neighbour to see at next year's Detroit motor show which will take place in the fine, upstanding locale of, erm, Detroit. It will join the recently unveiled M6 Gran Coupe and of course, its very new brethren, the BMW 4 Series Coupe. (Still crying about the demise of the M3 Coupe? Get over it, BMW has).

So this facelifted Z4 then. It now comes with a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol four-pot that sits on the entry point of Z4 ownership, and one that heeds BMW's labelling strategy by not being a ‘20i', but a ‘sDrive18i'. Power sits at 156bhp and 240Nm of torque, available between 1,250rpm and 4,400rpm. That's good for a 0-100kph time of 7.9 seconds with the standard six-speed manual, which is a full second off the next model up, 184bhp sDrive20i. Spec the eight speed sports auto ‘box and the time rises to 8.1 secs, while top speed is 220kph.

Outside, the revisions are minor, but you'll notice the LED lights have gone all Avatar thanks to their "strikingly three-dimensional design", while there's a newly designed tapered surround for the side indicators. There are three new colour options - grey, silver and orange - together with a new equipment pack named ‘Design Pure Traction'. Spec it, and you'll be privy to an orange and black interior that looks nothing like a Terry's Chocolate Orange, Alcantara on the door trim, and a metal weave strip. There are new 17in and 18in wheel designs in a ‘V' spoke design, too.

No changes underneath mind, so you're looking at a good, if not revelatory, chassis. Not as accurate as a Boxster, but still very comfortable with a good weight distribution and a moveable rear end. Plus, as we've maintained, it's the lower engines you'll have more fun in, rather than the all-singing 306bhp sDrive35i. It'll go on sale sometime next year. Like the sound of it?

Tags: bmw, z4

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