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BMW Z4

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The BMW Z4 is a rear-drive, two-door convertible with a retractable hardtop. Comfortable and sporty, the Z4 competes with the Porsche Boxster, Jaguar F-Type, Chevrolet Corvette, and the Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class. See our 2014 BMW Z4 review for pricing with options, gas mileage ratings, and specifications Tracing its roots back to the lighter, simpler Z3, the Z4 changed the Miata-fighting tack and... Read More Below »
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New & Used BMW Z4: In Depth

2014 BMW Z4

2014 BMW Z4

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The BMW Z4 is a rear-drive, two-door convertible with a retractable hardtop. Comfortable and sporty, the Z4 competes with the Porsche Boxster, Jaguar F-Type, Chevrolet Corvette, and the Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class.

See our 2014 BMW Z4 review for pricing with options, gas mileage ratings, and specifications

Tracing its roots back to the lighter, simpler Z3, the Z4 changed the Miata-fighting tack and grew into a more luxurious, more powerful car.

The original BMW Z4, introduced for 2003, wasn't that much larger than the Z3 but it was much more refined and luxurious—and it made a tremendous leap, design-wise, graduating from British roadster disciple to something much more complex, inside and out. Originally the Z4 was sold in 2.5i and 3.0i variants, with 184 horsepower and 225 hp respectively, but a mid-cycle update in 2006 brought more powerful engines. Models from 2003 through 2005 could have an optional SMG gearbox, which was never well received and didn't function as well in the Z4 as it did in several of BMW's other cars at that same time. The rest of the 2003-2008 models were offered with excellent manual or Steptronic automatic transmissions. 2006-2008 models were available in a curvy, nicely proportioned coupe body style, but coupes weren't that much quieter inside than convertibles were with the top up. From that period, there's also the Z4 M, a model powered by the same 3.2-liter six that powered the M3, with output down slightly to 330 hp.

The current car, the second one to be called Z4, is markedly different from that first generation. Only a convertible is offered, and it is a folding hardtop instead of the cloth roofs of before—better to compete with Mercedes-Benz's SLK. There are also a lot of visual and technological influences from the limited-run Z8 roadster. The current Z4 is a more upscale affair, with a greater focus on comfort than on driving dynamics or all-out power. The price went up with all of those changes, as well.

In 2012, BMW introduced a new turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine in the sDrive28i model, replacing the previous sDrive30i. Despite the smaller displacement, the new engine generates nearly as much power while returning much better fuel economy. For the 2013 model, BMW sweetened the Z4's feature set by adding power front seats (with driver-side memory), dual-zone automatic air conditioning, a universal garage-door opener, and ambient lighting to the standard feature set—all while lowering the price somewhat.

For the 2014 model year, BMW added a more feature-packed ConnectedDrive infotainment system with advanced safety and connectivity features, new exterior and interior appearance elements, a new wheel design, and a new chrome "swoosh" to the front fender.

We've found the latest Z4 to be farther from an edgy sports car, rather one that hits an elegant midpoint between poise and performance, its velvety powertrains, cabin appointments, and tight-fitting top. None of the first-generation Z4s are very good choices for long-distance cruising, but the latest Z4 is a much better highway car.

With the second-generation Z4, BMW moved production from Spartanburg, South Carolina to Regensburg, Germany. A smaller Z2 roadster has been rumored to join the BMW lineup, to occupy that more affordable portion of the market that the Z3 and Z4 once tapped. A Z4 M remains a possibility, but it hasn't yet been confirmed.

Looking to the future, a new BMW Z4 may be on the way around 2017, possibly sharing a platform as a joint development with Toyota's next Supra.

BMW Z4 Related News
 
2011 BMW Z4 sDrive35is

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BMW is recalling some vehicles manufactured from 2010-2012. More than 156,000 vehicles equipped with in-line six-cylinder engines have aluminum bolts on their cam-timing... read more June 30, 2014 by 


 
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BMW Recalling Nearly 505,000 Vehicles In U.S. To Fix Cables

BMW is conducting a voluntary safety recall involving nearly 505,000 vehicles in the Unites States over concerns that a battery connector cable can fail and cause engines to... read more February 20, 2013 by  0


 
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For over three decades, BMW has relied on its "Ultimate Driving Machine" tagline, but now the automaker's new ad agency, GSD&M Idea City from Austin, Texas, are shifting... read more February 15, 2010 by  0


 
2011 BMW Z4 sDrive35is

2011 BMW Models Get Early Intro; BMW Z4 sDrive35is Priced

We've recently filled you in on both the new 2011 BMW 5-Series sedans and the new track-oriented 2011 BMW 335is Coupe and Convertible that will be arriving to U.S... read more January 28, 2010 by  0


 
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Why Are There "Chick Cars," "Guy Cars," "Gay Cars," and "Lesbian Cars?"

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Specs: Select a Trim

Style MSRP Invoice MPG City MPG Hwy
sDrive28i Specs $48,950 $45,035 22 34
sDrive35i Specs $56,950 $52,395 17 24
sDrive35is Specs $65,800 $60,535 17 24
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