BMW will stun American visitors at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show with the new E89 BMW Z4 Roadster, but for the vast majority of us here that will have no chance to attend the show, we’ll get to check out the German “Z car” right here on this site, complete with loads of photos and videos after the jump.
The new Z4 has a slight retro look to it, as it immediately reminds you of the old BMW 507 roadster. There are alot of recycled design cues from the 3-Series, namely the shape of the headlamps, the bonnet with the F1 car-like sharp nose, and the bumper design. Or perhaps it was the other way around.
The BMW Z4 loses its soft top and is now available with a retractable electro-hydraulically operated aluminium ard top roof. The hard top roof has a 2-piece construction and can be raised or lowered in 20 seconds, even from your BMW key fob so you can open your top remotely before you get into your car. Like the 3-Series Convertible, the roadster features Sun Reflective Technology leather on the seats, which helps reduce the heat effect of sunshine.
With the E89 Z4 also marks the debut of the sDrive moniker on a BMW. The American market BMW Z4 is available with 2 engine options while the European market gets the same two variants with an additional smaller engine option, which probably won’t sell in the US anyway thanks to their obsession with large engines. The baseline Z4 in Europe will be the BMW Z4 sDrive23i, which uses a 2.5 litre inline-6 magnesium alloy engine producing 204 horsepower at 6,400rpm and 250Nm of torque at 2,750rpm. 0 to 100km/h takes 6.6 seconds for the manual and 7.3 seconds for the 6-speed auto.
The middle child is the BMW Z4 sDrive30i, which uses a 3.0 litre inline-6 magnesium alloy engine producing 258 horsepower at 6,600rpm (255 horsepower for the US version) and 310Nm of torque from 2,600rpm (298Nm in the US market). 0 to 100km/h takes 5.8 seconds and 6.1 seconds for the manual and automatic variants respectively.
The top of the line is the BMW Z4 sDrive35i, which can be had in either 6-speed manual form or with a 7-speed DCT dual clutch transmission derived from the M3′s M DCT. European sDrive35i owners enjoy 306 horsepower at 5,800rpm, and 400Nm of torque from 1,300rpm, while American sDrive35i owners get 300 horsepower at 5,800rpm and 406Nm of torque from 1,400rpm. All these different power figures are probably related to the different emissions regulations in the American and European market.
The E89 is larger than its predecessor, measuring 148mm longer at 4,239mm and 9mm wider at 1,790mm. Headroom has also been increased by 44mm when the roof is up (naturally it is not an issue when the top is down), while shoulder room has increased by 20mm and elbow room has been increased by 43mm. Boot space varies from 180 litres to 310 litres depending on whether the retractable hard top is stored in the boot or not. Driver visibility is up by 14%, while side visibility is up by 40%. The roof’s rear glass window improves visibility by 52%.
The flip-up iDrive system is also of the latest variety and uses an 8.8 inch LCD panel with a high 1,280 x 480 resolution. An 80GB hard drive is used to store maps, and 15GB of that amount is dedicated to a music archive, though it’s quite a waste in Malaysia as according to a BMW Malaysia source we don’t have the funky 3D maps with elevation data that are available in Europe and therefore our maps will not really use up a large amount of the remaining 65GB of space. You can specify various grades of audio systems up to a premium hi-fi system with up to 14 speakers and 2 subwoofers!
Optional is a feature called the Adaptive M suspension, which changes the compression and rebound of all four twin-sleeve gas absorbers according to driivng conditions. BMW claims the response time is so quick that a signal from the front wheel crossing a hole in the road reaches the center control unit and the rear damper is readjusted for the hole even before the rear wheels reach the same surface! A feature called Dynamic Drive Control also works with the adaptive suspension. There are 3 settings: NORMAL, SPORT and SPORT+. SPORT+ is similiar to SPORT except it turns on the DTC setting of DSC, allowing some controlled wheelspin before kicking in to rein the car in. However despite all of these goodies, a look at the videos (the one of the interior) below will reveal that the car doesn’t have a proper handbrake, just one of those electronic handbrake buttons!
There are no pricing information available for the new BMW Z4, but since it is a CBU unit we could see it being introduced in Malaysia perhaps in Q3 2009?
Photo Gallery: 2010 BMW Z4 Roadster
[zenphotopress number=99 album=32]
Video: 2010 BMW Z4 – Exterior Shots
Video: 2010 BMW Z4 – Interior Shots
Video: 2010 BMW Z4 – Engine Bay Shots
Video: 2010 BMW Z4 – Driving Footage #1
Video: 2010 BMW Z4 – Driving Footage #2