We present to you the first BMW Roadster with a retractable hardtop. Looking like a cool fusion of the stunning Z8 and the current-gen Z4, the 2009 BMW Z4 Roadster
is bristling with new technology under both hood and retractable hardtop roof.
Two models will be offered: the Z4 sDrive35i
and Z4 sDrive30i
. Apparently, BMW's recent penchant for lengthy alphanumeric nomenclature remains, but we'll take the alphabet soup happily because even the base model offers 255 hp courtesy of the firm's 3.0-liter magnesium-aluminum inline-six with valvetronic technology that was first seen in the 3 Series
sedan. The optional engine (Z4 sDrive35i
) is the brilliant twin-turbo inline-six seen across BMW's lineup, making 300 hp in this application. Standard transmission for both models is a stick shift; the Z4 sDrive 35i
has an optional twin-clutch 7-speed automated manual, while the Z4 sDrive 30i
has a traditional torque converter six-speed automatic as an option.
Energy saving features, not applicable to every model, include direct-injection, regenerative braking, on-demand management of ancillary units, and a variable oil pump. Both engines fulfill the future EU 5 emission standard.
The retractable hardtop is constructed of lightweight aluminum and is electro-hydraulically operated. Time to open or close is 20 seconds, and the top includes a heated rear window.
BMW claims that head and elbow room have been increased, and ingress and egress have been improved for the 2009 Z4. For additional storage, a transverse storage compartment resides behind the seats.
The 2009 Z4 Roadster marks the first use of--groan--the maligned iDrive system in a BMW Roadster. BMW has made many improvements to iDrive since we first saw it in the 7 Series years ago, making it increasingly user-friendly, so hopefully it won't detract from the Z4's fantastic powertrains and perfectly balanced chassis.
Until we drive the new sportster, you can visit a gallery chock-full of production and spy photos of the 2010 BMW Z4 here
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