2019 G29 BMW Z4 – full details released, three variants

As promised, BMW has finally released all details of its latest roadster, the G29 BMW Z4. Its debut earlier last month gave us a taste of the sole M40i variant, but the range is now joined by two “lesser” variants – the sDrive20i and sDrive30i.

Let’s start with the powertrain. The entry-level sDrive20i is powered by a 2.0 litre four-cylinder petrol engine, featuring a twin-scroll turbocharger to produce 197 hp at 4,500- to 6,500 rpm and 320 Nm from 1,450- to 4,200 rpm. It accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 6.6 seconds, and tops out at 240 km/h. Fuel consumption is rated at 6.0 litres per 100 km on the NEDC cycle.

Next, the sDrive30i also shares the same four potter, but uptuned to make a healthier 258 hp at 5,000- to 6,500 rpm and 400 Nm from 1,550- to 4,400 rpm. It takes just 5.4 seconds to make the century sprint, and returns the same fuel economy figures as the sDrive20i. Top speed here is electronically capped at 250 km/h.

And of course, the current range-topper, the Z4 M40i. It’s the only variant here with the 3.0 litre straight-six petrol motor, which is tuned to pack 340 hp at 5,000- to 6,500 rpm and 500 Nm at 1,600- to 4,500 rpm. Sprinting from nought to 100 km/h requires just 4.5 seconds, and it maxes out at 250 km/h. The combined fuel consumption is rated between 7.4- to 7.1 litres per 100 km.

2019 G29 BMW Z4 – full details released, three variants

All variants come with an eight-speed Steptronic transmission that channels drive to the rear axle. So far, no manual transmission are being offered, but BMW says the transmission features a wider ratio spread and also offers sportier gear shifts. The lower gears are shorter, thereby improving acceleration. For the discerning enthusiast, your only escape is through the steering-mounted paddle shifters. Sorry.

The M40i however, is the only model to come with the Launch Control function. It features an M-specific shift characteristic that is said to be “very much in tune with the straight-six engine’s power delivery.”

Under all that surface bling is a brand new chassis that comprises a newly designed double-joint spring strut axle up front, as well as a five-link rear axle. BMW says this combo strikes the right balance between sportiness and ride comfort.

The front axle subframe and control arm mountings are extremely rigid, and the front axle elastokinematics lend the roadster steering precision as well as dynamic lateral handling characteristic. Aluminium has been used to make the control arms and swivel bearings, a move which reduces unsprung mass. The rear axle however, gets a combination of lightweight aluminium and steel design.

2019 G29 BMW Z4 – full details released, three variants

Handling is further aided by Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), which bundles ABS, Dynamic Traction Control (DTC), Cornering Brake Control (CBC), Dynamic Brake Control (DBC) and Start-Off Assistant. The Performance Control function (standard on all Z4s) promotes even nimbler handling by varying torque distribution to the rear wheels.

Unique to the M40i are the Adaptive M Sport suspension – which reduces ride height by 10 mm – with electronically-controlled dampers and electronically-controlled M Sport rear differential. The latter features an electric motor that provides variable torque distribution and a locking effect.

Dimensions-wise, the low-slung roadster is bigger than its predecessor in every way. It is 4,324 mm (+85 mm) long, 1,864 mm wide (+74 mm) and 1,304 mm tall (+13 mm), but its wheelbase has been shortened to 2,470 mm (-26 mm) to sharpen agility. Track width is also up – 1,609 millimetres at the front (+98 mm) and 1,616 millimetres at the rear (+57 mm). All this help the Z4 achieve a 50:50 weight distribution.

On the design front, the ragtop roadster gets vertical LED headlights (a first for BMW, placement-wise) as standard, while the Adaptive LED with matrix function is optional. The aggressive front apron comes with huge air intakes, and the wide BMW kidney grille features a 3D honeycomb pattern.

Round the side, the sDrive20i and sDrive30i rest on 17-inch alloys as standard, whereas the M40i get the larger 18-inch items. However, 19-inch units are optional, and in true BMW fashion, all variants come with wider rear tyres. The soft-top can be had in two colours (black and anthracite/silver) and is electrically operated in the space of 10 seconds, at speeds up to 50 km/h.

At the back, there’s an integrated spoiler, and the slim L-shape tail lights help give the Z4 a nice rear-three-quarter look. Below that is a rather bold apron, flushed with deeply-recessed vertical reflectors, diffuser, rear fog lamp and twin hexagonal exhaust exits (M40i only).

Options include nine exterior paint colours (one non-metallic and eight metallic shades; the one you see here is Cerium Grey) for the car’s exterior paintwork. The Sport Line or M Sport pack can also be had – the former features gloss black exterior accents and 18-inch alloys, whereas the M Sport kit comes with a more aggressive front and rear bumper, prominent side skirt contouring and 18-inch M light-alloy wheels.

Inside, the Z4 gets a more upmarket approach, thanks in part to the use of electroplated trim pieces. In M40i form, it gets coloured head-up display, fully-digital Sensatec instrument panel, 10.25-inch infotainment display with BMW Live Cockpit Professional, dual-zone automatic climate control, 464 watt 12-speaker Harman Kardon Surround Sound System with a digital amplifier and M-specific steering wheel and foot pedals.

2019 G29 BMW Z4 – full details released, three variants

Leather sports seats with integrated head restraints are standard – the sDrive30i gets Vernasca leather that’s available in black, ivory white, cognac and magma red, each complete with contrast stitching and piping. The M40i gets leather and Alcantara interior with blue contrast stitching and blue piping as standard.

Lastly, the Z4 comes with Active Park Distance control and rear view camera as standard, as well as Collision Warning and Pedestrian Warning with City Braking function and Lane Departure Warning system. Options include Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function, Speed Limit Info system with No Passing Info display, distance information, Lane Change Warning System, and Rear Collision Prevention and Cross-Traffic Alert.

Other features include Remote Software Upgrade (allows over-the-air updates, either via BMW Connected app or directly into the car with built-in SIM card), BMW Connected Navigation and BMW Digital Key, which is available for all NFC-capable Samsung smartphones.

The G29 BMW Z4 will be displayed at the Paris Motor Show next month, and will be rolled out globally in March 2019. It will be built at automaker’s Austrian manufacturing partner, Magna Steyr Fahrzeugtechnik in Graz. What do you think of the Z4? Share with us your thoughts, below.

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