CAR’s associate editor Mike Monk drove the revamped BMW Z4 in the Natal Midlands and found the range’s new line-up encompasses a broader price range, which increases its appeal to the roadster – and poseur – market.
By Mike Monk, CAR associate editor
Four years into its lifecycle, BMW has just introduced a revamped range of Z4 Roadsters to the South African market. Along with a number of minor styling changes and interior detailing, there are now four engine sizes on offer, and the line-up now encompasses a broader price range, increasing its appeal to the roadster – and poseur – market. Revised DSC dynamic traction control, hill start assistance, and a sophisticated braking system incorporating dry pad braking in wet weather, fade compensation, brake standby and adaptive brake-light display, are all part of the standard features package.
Cosmetic changes include front foglamps fully integral with a new, bigger airdam, aerodynamically shaped and angled slats for the grille, side markers incorporated into the leading edge of the front wheelarches, specific road wheel designs for each model, a second spoiler lip on the rear airdam, and new rear lamp clusters with horizontal light “conductors”.
Opinions are still polarised on the Z4’s “flame surface” looks, but there is no escaping the fact that it is an arresting shape, and the traditional phallic roadster long nose/small butt proportions certainly attract attention.
The existing 2,5- and 3,0-litre versions of BMW’s classic straight six remain, but in uprated NG-6 guise, which means more power – and “si” badging to denote the difference. The twin-cam 24-valve 2,5 now produces 160 kW at 6 500 r/min, with 250 N.m of torque from 2 900 to 4 250 r/min. Acceleration to 100 km/h is claimed to take 6,5 seconds, top speed is given as 240 km/h, and the EU combined driving fuel consumption figure is 8,4 litres/100 km.
The 3,0-litre version pumps out 195 kW at 6 600 r/min, and 315 N.m of torque at a relaxed 2 750. Compared with its sister six, the 3,0si does the sprint in 5,7 seconds, is limited to 250 km/h, and consumes unleaded petrol at a rate of 8,6 litres/100 km. Transmissions offered on both are a six-speed manual and a six-speed Steptronic Sport automatic incorporating paddle shift.
And, for the first time in South Africa, a four-cylinder engine powers the entry-level Z4. The 2,0i pushes out 110 kW at 6 000 r/min, and produces 200 N.m of torque at 3 600, enough to propel the roadster to 100 km/h in 8,2 seconds, achieve a top speed of 220 km/h, and provide a fuel economy figure of 7,5 litres/100 km. A six-speed manual ’box is standard.