The BMW Z4 Roadster and its predecessors have long been in the limelight as BMW’s signature luxury-sports convertible. If you are looking for a laid-back, sporty-leisure drive that is not so much of a hardcore racer, the Z4 might be the right fit for you.
The BMW Z4 Evolution
BMW Z4’s legend dates back as far as the 1930s, when BMW Z1 took the stage and turned heads with its unique design and outstanding performance. Then to follow was the well-known BMW 328 and BMW 507 in 1955.
Since 1987, during its premiere at the Frankfurt Auto Show in Germany, BMW Z8 and BMW Z3 respectively caught the attention of the world with its pioneering door design, convertible two-seater concept, impressive handling, and agile build.
Today, looking at the latest generation of the BMW Z4, every element from the refined retractable-hardtop to the sleek flow of the body silhouette speaks for itself. It is a one-of-a-kind iconic BMW road-going model inspired by the racetrack.
The BMW Z4 Performance Review
The current generation of BMW Z4 did not go through too much renovation during the past three years. The 2016 new release stayed fairly similar to the 2015 model with the exception of the bucket sporting seats included as standard equipment in the 2016 model.
The athletic build and low profile of the Z4 are specially designed to make drivers feel more intimate with the car. The convertible retractable-hardtop has been continuously refined over the past years to achieve the smooth operation– fully opens or closes in 20 seconds.
The BMW Z4 28i
Out of the three Z4 models that BMW carries in the United States, the Z4 28i is the only 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder model equipped with a 6-Speed Manual Gearbox which is required for the Automatic Stop-Start function. The nice thing is that buyers have the option to change it up for an 8-Speed Automatic Transmission at no additional cost.
The 240 HP Z4 28i engine is rated at 5,000 RPM and 260 ft-lb of torque. It is composed of a twin-scroll turbocharger with Double-VANOS and Valvetronic variable valve control as well as high-precision direct injection system.
Manual transmission takes the Z4 28i from 0 to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds while the automatic transmission does it in around 5.6 seconds.
The BMW Z4 35i
If you crave for more horsepower in the convertible roadster, consider the 3.0-liter, TwinPower Turbo inline 6-cylinder engine of the BMW Z4 35i. It packs 300 HP at 5,800 RPM and 300 lb-ft of torque. The Z4 35i combines two mono-scroll turbochargers with variable valve control (Double-VANOS) and high-precision direct injection.
The Z4 35i is paired with 7-Speed Double-Clutch Transmission (DCT) and Electronic throttle control as standard equipment. The 0 to 60 mph run from a standstill can be completed in 5.0 seconds with the 7-Speed DCT and in 5.1 seconds with the 6-Speed Manual Transmission.
The BMW Z4 35is
The most powerful variant available in the Z4 family is the BMW Z4 35is sDrive. It is fitted with a venerable N54 TwinPower Turbocharged 3.0-liter, inline 6-cylinder rated at 335 HP at 5,900 RPM with 332 lb-ft of torque.
The 7-Speed DCT comes standard and is the only transmission option for the Z4 35is drive. The sportiest version of the roadster goes from 0 to 60 mph in 4.8-second. The sDrive is assimilated with a customized M Sport Package. It includes the following add-ons for an additional $3,350 (The M Sport Package could also be selected as Performance Options on the Z4 28i and 35i).
BMW Z4 M Sport Package
- Increased Top Speed Limiter
- Aerodynamic Kit
- Anthracite Headliner
- 18″ Light Alloy Star-spoke Wheels Style 325M-with Performance Run-flat Tires
- Adaptive M Suspension
Steering Wheel Options:
- M Steering Wheel
- M Sports Leather Steering Wheel with Paddle Shifters
Choice of Interior Trims:
- M Interior Trim Aluminum Carbon Shadow
- Anthracite Wood Trim
- Fineline Brown Wood Trim
- Metal Weave Interior Trim
Choice of Exterior Colors:
- Alpine White $0
- Black Sapphire Metallic $550
- Glacier Silver Metallic $550
- Melbourne Red Metallic $550
- Mineral Grey Metallic $550
- Mineral White Metallic $550
- Sparkling Brown Metallic $550
- Estoril Blue Metallic $550
- Valencia Orange $550
BMW Z4 Standard Equipment Highlights
Standard equipment for the 2016 BMW Z4 also includes a range of drive-comfort and efficiency oriented functions. For instance, Driving Dynamics Control and Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) with Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) improve vehicle stability while providing drivers with increased levels of driving versatility and control.
The convenient vehicle-speed-sensitive Electric Power Steering with Servotronic power assist allows the driver to easily maneuver the steering wheel in comfort at any driving speed. Additional intuitive features include the soft-close automatic trunk lid, 10-way power-adjustable sports seats, rain-sensing windshield wiper, and automatic tilt-down of right outside mirror during backup for better curb visibility.
Although the BMW Z4 is not the fastest or most luxurious BMW on the market, the fun-loving convertible roadster makes a great weekend cruiser.
BMW Z4 Design Highlights
The BMW Z4 is a genuine two-seater with a hardtop that retrieves into the trunk. It means that space is limited in this model since it is a compact roadster. However, accessibility, comfort, and visibility are never compromised for being stylish.
An array of user experience oriented features are present in the Z4 which makes life easier… well at least during your time in the car.
Convenient Options in the BMW Z4
- Comfort Access Keyless Entry with Multi-Function Remote Control
- Comfort Opening and Loading Function
- Duel-Power Exterior Mirrors
- Heated Glass Rear Window
- Ambiance Lighting
- Keyless Entry and Ignition
- BMW Assist and iDrive Technology
BMW Z4 Interior
Aesthetic wise, elegant Kansas or Nappa leather upgrades for sports seat upholstery is available with the two-toned color options and the special trims. Leather-wrapped, three-spoke multifunction sports steering wheel comes with audio system control, dynamic cruise control, and Bluetooth wireless communication for hands-free mobile phone.
BMW Z4 Design Xenon Adaptive Headlights
Xenon Adaptive Headlights with Auto-Leveling and LED Headlight-Rings are making the BMW “Angel Eyes” instantly recognizable. The overall proportionate design with its extended front hood, long wheelbase, and flowing roofline brings out the distinctive characteristics in the BMW Z4 design.
BMW Z4 EPA Estimated Mileage
KBB.com gives the 2016 BMW Z4 an overall expert rating of 7.2/10 and a reported consumer rating of 8.9/10. For a sports coupe, EPA estimated mpg is not too shabby for the Z4:
- Z4 28i: 22/34 mpg (manual), 22/33 mpg (automatic)
- Z4 35i: 19/26 mpg (manual), 17/24 mpg (automatic)
- Z4 35is: 17/24 mpg