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M Roadster returns to Melbourne

Potent: M-tuned Z4 is powered by the M3's 252kW/365Nm straight six.

BMW unleashes its $129,500 Z4 M Roadster in Melbourne, plus a bevvy of new variants

17 Feb 2006

BMW headlined its Melbourne motor show act last week with the Australian debuts of its potent new Z4 M Roadster, turbo-diesel versions of both the 1 Series and 3 Series, and the first E90 3 Series wagon.

A long-awaited replacement for the Z3-based M Roadster, the M-tuned Z4 is powered by the M3’s 252kW/365Nm 3.2-litre straight six and will hit BMW showrooms - priced at $129,500 - as part of a facelifted, new-look Z4 range in April.

BMW expects to sell between 50 and 70 examples of its six-speed manual-only Z4 M Roadster due to pent-up demand since the Z4 M Roadster was discontinued.

BMW expects to sell 300 Z4s in 2006, including the new magnesium alloy-engined Z4 2.5si (now with six-speed manual) and Z4 3.0si – both of which will offer shift paddles on six-speed auto versions.

Meantime, BMW’s 1 Series range will be boosted in May by the 115kW/330Nm 2.0-litre turbo-diesel powered 120d ($47,800 auto-only), the availability of adaptive headlights and an M Sport package, and an auto version of the 130i Sport priced at $65,500.

14 center imageSharing their oil-burning engine with the 120d is the 320d sedan (also available in Executive trim), which as the first diesel 3 Series delivers 5.3L/100km average fuel consumption. It will be available from June, priced from $56,700 in six-speed auto-only guise.

From May, the 3 Series range also gains a 2.5-litre six-cylinder 323i Touring model (priced at $68,900 manual and $71,500 auto), which replaces the previous-generation E46 320i Touring as it's powered by BMW's new entry-level six-cylinder engine and produces 130kW/230Nm. BMW expects to sell 140 examples in 2006.

From December 2005, all 5 Series variants (including the new 540i and 550i) will gain as standard Hill Start Assist, Brake Standby, Dry Braking, Fading Compensation and Soft-Stop.

BMW's new Z4 Coupe should go on sale here early in the second half of this year.

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