A German sports car with a rear-wheel drive, the BMW Z4 is a powerhouse-on-wheels that was introduced in 2002. Because of its distinct exterior, it earned the Design of the Year Award from Automobile Magazine in the same year. Several generations later, the Z4 continues to blaze the trail and raise the standards for sports cars.
The first-gen BMW Z4 is available in two versions: a roadster (E85) and a coupe (E86) and was designed by Danish designer Anders Warming. The engine line-up included several options. For the roadster, buyers can choose from a 3.0i, a 3.0si, 2.5si, a 2.2i, or a 2.0i engine. As for the coupe, consumers only have one option: a 3L 255 hp I6.
In 2004, upgrades included 16-inch wheels for the 2.5i model, 17-inch wheels for the 3.0i, leather interiors for the 2.5i and 3.0i, Xenon headlights, and a console button for the Dynamic Driving Control system. Optional features are a Sport Package, a wind deflector, and a removable hardtop. More optional features in the following year were offered. These include a concierge service and the BMW Assist emergency, navigation system, and heated seats. The Sequential Manual Gearbox was carried over to the 3.0i, although it was removed from the 2.5i version.
In 2006, a hatchback coupe was introduced, while the E85 received more upgrades such as a new style and more power-packed engines. In the same year, the Z4 M Roadster was also launched. More known as the M Roadster, it uses a 3.2 L, S54-inline engine.
The E89 or second-generation BMW Z4 was introduced at the 2009 North American International Auto Show. This model features a seven-speed, double-clutch gearbox and an expanded transmission line-up for the 28i and 30i versions. Other standard technologies used by the second-gen Z4 are the EfficientDynamics braking system, the Drive Dynamic Control, and an electro-mechanical hand brake. It’s also equipped with the following standard components: a belt load limiter and pretensioner, emergency brake assist, four airbags, a reinforced windscreen, and two roll bars behind the seats.
The current Z4 is a retractable hardtop, with the design a concept of designers Juliane Blasi and Nadya Arnaout. The hardtop features a lightweight shell made of aluminum and an electro-hydraulic mechanism. It also automatically folds in just 20 seconds.
In 2013, upgrades include modified back lights and new LED headlights. A new engine is offered for the Z4 sDrive18i version, and two trim packages were added: Design Pure Traction and Design Pure Balance. Since 2013, a new color—Valencia Orange Metallic—has been included in the roster of choices. Modified Z4s such as the BMW Z4 GTE and the BMW Z4 GT3 were also built under BMW Motorsport to compete in globally renowned racing competitions.