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BMW officially lifts the lid on new Z4

Aussie-designed new-generation BMW Z4 breaks cover before local 2019 launch

24 Aug 2018

BMW has formally uncovered the production version of its new drop-top Z4 sportscar at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, penned by Australian-born BMW designer Calvin Luk who also designed the concept car shown at the same event last year.
Mr Luk, who himself owns a Z4, is also responsible for the design of the facelifted 1 and 2 Series range launched late last year, as well as the Bavarian brand’s X1 small crossover and X3 mid-size SUV.
Revealed in presumably top-spec guise, the Frozen Orange metallic-painted M40i First Edition-badged Z4 is a dramatic departure from BMW’s current homogenised styling, thanks to its sleek and aggressive overall aesthetic.
Up front, vertically stacked adaptive LED matrix headlights flank a blacked-out kidney grille, while the lower bumper sports gaping air intakes and chiselled features.
A long sculpted bonnet, front fender air extractors and steeply-raked dark-coloured windscreen characterise the side profile, which draws the eye along prominent feature lines towards the rear.
The bootlid-integrated rear lip spoiler, slim wraparound tail-lights and blackened rear diffuser also combine to give the latest Z4 a squat and purposeful stance from the rear.
Large 19-inch alloy wheels fill the wheelarches, while the side mirrors are also finished in gloss black.
Although yet to be detailed, the Z4 interior appears to lift elements from the new-generation X5 and 8 Series flagship, with all-digital instrumentation, a chunky steering wheel and a high-definition iDrive infotainment display outputting to a Harman Kardon sound system.
Climate control information is now nestled between the middle air vents, with controls situated below, while the centre storage cubby looks to support wireless smartphone charging, a USB input and 12V socket.
Sitting between the driver and passenger is a new-look shifter and infotainment control knob also seemingly taken from the aforementioned X5 and 8 Series models.
For the first time in a BMW roadster, a head-up display is also fitted.
The third-generation Z4 line-up – that also shares its underpinnings with Toyota’s upcoming Supra – is expected to land in Australian showrooms in the first half of 2019 with a range of engines kicking off with a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol four cylinder.
However, the M40i version is confirmed to be powered by a 250kW inline six-cylinder engine returning a fuel economy figure between 7.1-7.4 litres per 100km and emitting 162-168 grams of CO2 per kilometre.
Although no other powertrain details have been confirmed, the straight six is likely closely related to the same 3.0-litre turbocharged unit found in the M140i hatchback, M240i coupe, and X3 and X4 M40i SUVs.
As such, torque figures should peak at 500Nm, while the automatic transmission could be a similar eight-speed torque-converter.
Sending power to the rear wheels, the Z4 M40i can accelerate from a standstill to 100km/h in just 4.6 seconds – the same sprint time for the M140i and M240i, and just 0.2s quicker than the heavier X3 and X4 flagships.
Other mechanical goodies include sports suspension with electronically controlled dampers and perfect 50:50 weight distribution, as well as M Sport brakes and a rear differential.
BMW promises to reveal more engine specifications and technical details on September 19, while the Z4 will also feature at the brand’s Paris motor show stand in early October.

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