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2019 BMW Z4

2019 BMW Z4

Inspired by the flagship 8 Series

The third-generation BMW Z4 combines styling features seen on the Z4 Concept from 2017 and the flagship 8 Series Coupe. The roadster broke cover at the 2018 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in M40i trim, but more versions joined the lineup toward 2019.

After more than three years of speculation, which included rumors that the roadster might be renamed, the third-gen Z4 made its public debut exactly 30 years after the first Z1 car went into production in 1988. Unveiled at same location as the Z4 Concept in 2017, the third-gen Z4 replaces a seven-year model that was past its prime. Drawing cues from both the Z4 Concept and the 8 Series, the new Z4 raises above the competition in just about every department.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW Z4.

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2017 BMW Concept Z4

2017 BMW Concept Z4

A look into the design of the upcoming, third-gen Z4

BMW essentially struck gold in the compact, two-seater market when it released the Z4 back in 2003. It featured a sporty exterior, with potent, naturally aspired engines, and could be had as a soft-top convertible or in coupe form. That first generation lasted until 2009, but before the first-gen made its exit BMW was able to introduce a Z4 M in both forms with performance credentials good enough to get the little car that could up to 60 mph in as little as 4.8 seconds if you knew how to shift it right. The second-gen came to be in 2009 and, while most of the engine choices were naturally aspirated, one was offered with turbocharged goodness. Within a couple of years, the entire drivetrain lineup went turbo, and BMW hasn’t looked back since. The second-generation model lasted from 2009 to 2016 and, ever since its discontinuance, fans and purists everywhere have begged for the third-gen model – an all-new roadster that’s due for the 2018 model year and has been caught many times testing out in public over the last two years. At the kickoff of Monterey Car Week, BMW decided to release the Concept Z4, a wild interpretation of the upcoming roadster and something that at least gives us a little hint as to where BMW is going with the third-gen model.

As is the usual case with concepts, this car isn’t a firm representation of what we’ll see. For instance, it has no roof or, at the very least, has a Targa-style top. The exterior design is quite bold and features stout overhangs with crisp lines and a style that you could only get from BMW. There’s no word on what might be lurking under the hood, but BMW claims the Concept Z4 is an “all-out driving machine” that is stripped down to the bare essentials. With that said, let’s take a good look at the concept and talk more about it!

Updated 08/21/2017: We added a series of new images taken during the concept’s presentation at the 2017 Monterey Car Week.

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2015 BMW Z4 - Driven

2015 BMW Z4 - Driven

The Z4 is the unsung sports car of BMW’s lineup. While the 2016 BMW M3 and 2015 BMW M4 snag all the current headlines, the 2014 BMW Z4 quietly soldiers on without much hubbub. The last time the Z4 had its limelight was in 2012 when BMW swapped the Z’s smooth, naturally aspirated inline six-cylinder for a turbocharged four-cylinder in the base 28i car. Before that, it was the Z4’s heavy refresh into its second generation in 2009, which included a more mature look and the addition of the convertible hard top.

Since then, not much has changed. Then again, not much needed to. Even in 2015, the Z4 still holds true to the classic design of a proper drop-top sports car: engine in front, drive wheels in back, rearward-mounted cockpit, and a good power-to-weight ratio. These are the same principles that made the Z4’s predecessor a success – the Z3.

I recently spent a week behind the wheel of the Z4 in the standard sDrive28i trim. And though it doesn’t directly compete, I couldn’t help compare the BMW to Mazda’s famed MX-5 Miata. Both offer a true roadster experience, though at very different price points and to different audiences.

Nevertheless, the BMW fulfills the role of a great top-down driver. That’s when the car really comes alive. But what’s it like to live with the Z4 on a daily basis? Glad you asked. Keep reading to find out.

Continue reading for the full driven review

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2015 BMW Z4 GTLM

2015 BMW Z4 GTLM

Introduced for the 2013 American Le Mans Series (ALMS), the Z4 GTE replaced the successful M3 GT, which brought BMW the team and manufacturers’ championships in 2010 and 2011. Compared to the Z4 GT3 it is based on, the GTE sports a less sophisticated aerodynamic kit, with simpler rear wing and diffuser, although it is significantly wider. The modifications were to make the Z4 suitable for the ALMS, which merged with the Grand-Am Sports Car Series to form the United SportsCar Championship (USCC) in 2014.

Following a competitive maiden season in 2013, the Z4 race car received a chassis update in 2014 and went on to score six podium finishes in the GTLM class of the USCC with Team RLL. BMW placed fourth in the manufacturer’s standing, below Porsche, Dodge and Chevrolet, but above Ferrari. Having received a slightly revised aero package for 2015, the Z4 finished the 24 Hours of Daytona second in the GTLM class and fifth overall. With the 12 Hours of Sebring just around the corner, BMW unveiled a special livery for one of the two cars, to celebrate 40 years since winning the famed endurance race for the first time.

The car in question will hit the track March 21st with Bill Auberlen, Dirk Werner, Augusto Farfus and Bruno Spengler behind the wheel.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW Z4 GTLM.

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2014 BMW Z4 sDrive 20i GT Spirit

2014 BMW Z4 sDrive 20i GT Spirit

There are a lot of special-edition BMW models in Japan. Don’t ask us why that’s the case but something about that market really speaks to the Bavarian automaker. We’re admittedly jealous about this fact, more so now that another special-edition Bimmer — a Z4, no less! — is headed to the Asian.

It’s called the BMW Z4 sDrive 20i GT Spirit and it looks downright gorgeous. The model is exclusively earmarked for the Japanese market as BMW’s way of celebrating the BMW Sports Trophy team’s one-two finish in the Super GT series. Care to guess what car the team was racing in? Yep, a BMW Z4 GT3.

That’s the reason why BMW has allocated all 60 units of the Z4 sDrive 20i GT Spirit for Japan at a price of 6.090 million yen — close to $60,000 as of 7/8/2014. No other country will get these cars, which again is making us really jealous. Care to spare a few here in America, BMW?

The list of modifications for this special-edition Z4 are limited to cosmetic upgrades, some of which actually pay homage to the Z4 GT3 race car. The Alpine White body is the same as the race car with the tri-color M graphics also making an appearance in the front section of the Z4.

Those are just the start of the exclusive touches given to this particular Z4. There’s plenty more in there that really brings out the best in this special-edition model.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW Z4 sDrive 20i GT Spirit.

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2014 BMW Z4 Pure Fusion Design

2014 BMW Z4 Pure Fusion Design

The BMW M3 and the M4 Coupe are understandably getting all the attention today, but BMW is quick to point out that those aren’t the only two models that it’s proudly showcasing.

A special-edition BMW Z4 is also getting some love ahead of its debut at the 2014 North American International Auto Show. The model is called the Pure Fusion Edition and while it lacks in any kind of noticeable exterior changes, it does showcase the company’s new Pure Fusion Design equipment package, which is all sorts of incredible if you’re the type to enjoy your luxury with plenty servings of sportiness to go with it.

That, essentially, is what BMW is trying to sell with the Z4 Pure Fusion Design. You get your sports car in full blast and add a special interior that has more leather than you’d expect.

Kudos to Bimmer for killing two birds with one stone. It’s cars like this that can really draw interest back to an aging model, like the Z4.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 BMW Z4 Pure Fusion Design

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2014 BMW Z4 By MB Individual Cars

2014 BMW Z4 By MB Individual Cars

The BMW Z4 lineup has remained change-free since its 2010 redesign, but this doesn’t mean tuners have lost interest in the 2014 Z4 roadster.

MB Individual Cars from Augsburg, Germany is one tuner with plenty of interest in the Z4, and it developed a pretty bad-ass for the sports roadster. The kit is mad entirely from carbon fiber and is limited to only 25 units that will be released in early 2014.

This Z4’s body is coated in a slick Mineral White, with the exposed carbon-fiber components that make up this kit. These components include the front spoiler lip, kidneys and air inlets, side-view mirrors, direction indicators, swords in the side sills, rear spoiler lip, rear diffuser insertion and some small swords for the lateral parts of the rear apron.

MB continued by adding in a set of wheels and interior improvements, but the tuner is also considering offering some engine upgrades in the near future.

Click past the jump to read more about BMW Z4 by MB Individual Cars.

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2013 BMW Z4 GTE

2013 BMW Z4 GTE

BMW recently took to the famous Daytona Raceway to introduce their latest race car that will compete at the 2013 American Le Mans Series: the BMW Z4 GTE.

Racing under the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, the Z4 GTE has some pretty high expectations to live up to. After all, it’s predecessor, the M3 GT, was one of the most successful race cars to compete in recent ALMS history. It last won back in 2011 and only lost the title last year to the Chevrolet Corvette C6.R.

So with a year to stew over surrendering its crown to Chevy, BMW is raring to get the 2013 ALMS season started with the Z4 GTE.

As expected, the racecar was built with racing regulations in mind, although if it performs the way its departed brethren used to, so there shouldn’t be any problems scoring some points and gaining some wins.

The real question is if it can return to the top of the ALMS podium, a step currently occupied by the C6.R.

Find out more about the BMW Z4 GTE after the jump

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2014 BMW Z4

2014 BMW Z4

While we are all waiting for the next-generation Z4, it looks like BMW has slid in a refreshed version for the 2014 model year for good measure. The model has been caught testing in many times and now it will be making its world debut in January 2013 at the Detroit Auto Show.

BMW’s decision to update for the current generation Z4 Roadster shouldn’t be a big surprise to anyone. First, the current-gen Z4 has been on the market since 2009 and secondly, a final decision on a third-generation Z4 is still to be made.

Of course, the updates on the 2014 Z4 aren’t very impressive; in fact, the U.S. market will be the only one not receiving the biggest update — a new entry-level model that features a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine. Other updates will be limited to the exterior, and will include updated LED headlights and two new set of wheels… That’s pretty much it!

Updated 12/18/2012: This review has been updated with the official details, images and specs.

Updated 12/26/2012: BMW has unveiled two very cool video for their new Z4 Roadster set to be revealed in Detroit. The new video show the car in action, but also a few exterior and interior design elements.

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2012 BMW Zagato Roadster

2012 BMW Zagato Roadster

When BMW and Zagato teamed up to introduce the BMW Zagato Coupe at the 2012 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este a few months ago, nobody had any inkling that the two companies had more than just one project up their collective sleeves.

Needless to say, all of us were once again caught by surprise when BMW released a teaser photo of another concept collaboration with Zagato, which made its debut at the 2012 Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance.

We weren’t about to assume what this new concept would be, but we easily made out the image of a BMW roadster, which lead us to think it could be a roadster version of the Zagato Coupe we saw a few months ago.

Well, we were right about it being a roadster version of the BMW Zagato, but what we weren’t expecting was for the new Roadster to carry many characteristics that were all its own. This isn’t just a drop-top version of the Zagato Coupe, this is a whole new level of awesomeness mixed with the superb styling characteristics of BMW and Zagato.

UPDATE 09/10/2012: BMW has unveiled a new video featuring BMW’s Head of Design, Karim Habib, as he explains the design concept behind the Zagato Roadster. Enjoy!

Hit the jump for full details on the BMW Zagato Roadster.

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2012 BMW Z4 White Wold by Rowen Japan

2012 BMW Z4 White Wold by Rowen Japan

While BMW is currently designing the next generation Z4, Japanese tuner Rowen gave updating the current generation a try. We don’t necessarily think it needs updating, but to each his own.

The updates for the BMW Z4 began with the exterior where the base element was carbon fiber. The kit consists of a new front bumper spoiler, side steps, a side carbon under flap, rear bumper spoiler, and wing all made of carbon fiber. A new set of wheels complete the look, while the rear of the vehicle gets a new titanium high performance exhaust system that weighs 28 lbs less than the standard exhaust. However, Rowen has yet to reveal if this new exhaust system will translate into any changes under the hood, but it is very possible.

On top of those changes, the package also includes a new LED reflector and a LED Z4 emblem to make it a bit more eye-catching.

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2015 BMW Z4

2015 BMW Z4

We brought the first details on the next generation BMW Z4 in the beginning of May 2012 and now British magazine, AutoCar, has put their investigative hats on to bring us even more news on the next Z4. The new details suggest that the next Z4 will be "more agile, athletic and sportier to drive."

The most important change will be made to the bonnet which will be shorter than in the current model. This change can’t be too drastic, however, because US customers are very fond of this feature. BMW opted for this aerodynamic change because it is believed the longer bonnet inhibited fast driving. The rest of the vehicle’s design will remain almost completely unchanged because BMW is adamant on keeping up the character of the Z4.

In terms of power, the next-generation Z4 will benefit from the downsized, four-cylinder N20 engines launched last year in the current generation Z4. Such a decision makes us hope that the famous Z4 M version will make a comeback, even though BMW officials have stated previously that a "business case for an M version of the current car is too weak to justify such a model. "

Expect to see the next generation BMW Z4 launched in 2015.

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2009 - 2012 BMW Z4 Roadster

2009 - 2012 BMW Z4 Roadster

The BMW Z4 is a relatively young model on the market. Its first generation was announced in 2002, and became a very successful model on the market thanks to its beautiful design language and its relatively cheaper price compared to other sports cars.

At the 2009 Detroit Auto Show, BMW brought out the second generation Z4. And, next to a new design language and new engines, the E89 model came with big changes to the line-up: the coupe version was dropped and so was the previous M version. Instead, BMW offered a Z4 sDrive35is version - the most powerful Z4 currently available on the market.

On the US market, the current Z4 line-up includes the Z4 sDrive28i,
the Z4 sDrive35i, and the Z4 sDrive35is with prices ranging from $48,650 to $64,200. In Europe, customers can also opt for the sDrive20i, sDrive23i, or sDrive30i.

Hit the jump to read more about the BMW Z4 E89.

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2012 BMW Z4 by Anabolicar Magazine

2012 BMW Z4 by Anabolicar Magazine

Anabolicar Magazine is one of Germany’s biggest supercar magazines so obviously, they had to have a presence at the just finished 2011 Essen Motor Show. What we didn’t know was that they were bringing a humdinger of a project in the form of a tuned-up BMW Z4.

The show car, which was built specifically for the purpose of displaying it at Essen, comes with plenty of aerodynamic and performance enhancements that compliments the M Package the car already has. The exterior of the Z4 is highlighted by a Green reptile skin finish that was worked on by KK-Cocoon. In addition to that, the Z4 Anabolicar also has a new KW coil-over suspension, an Eisenmann exhaust system, a lowered M-chassis, and a new set of black, 19" OZ Racing alloy wheels. Meanwhile, the modifications for the interior include new M sports seats, a new M steering wheel, and a voice activated navigation system.

Under the hood of the Z4 Anabolicar lies a 3.0-liter inline-six cylinder engine that produces 265 horsepower. All that juice wrapped up in a fancy aesthetic dress results in a sports car that stole the show at the 2011 Essen Motor Show. Then again, we really shouldn’t have expected anything less from one of Germany’s biggest supercar magazines.

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2011 BMW Z4 sDrive20i and sDrive28i

2011 BMW Z4 sDrive20i and sDrive28i

BMW has chosen the British market to launch two new models for the Z4 line-up. The new Z4 sDrive20i and Z4 sDrive28i continue a tradition of over 80 years started by the 3/15 PA Wartburg Roadster back in 1930. It was a memorable car thanks to its setback glasshouse and front engine rear-wheel-drive configuration with the two seats positioned close to the rear axle.

The Z4 sDrive20i is powered by a four-cylinder engine with an output of 184 HP and 199 lb-ft of torque. It sprints from 0 to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds and can hit a top speed of 146 mph. For the sDrive28i, the total output has been increased to 245 HP. It sprints from 0 to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds, while top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph.

The Z4 sDrive20i will be offered in Space Grey metallic paintwork and will be equipped with 17" light alloy Star-spoke style 290 wheels and is priced at £29,480.00 ($40,172 at the current rates). The sDrive28i gets a Black Sapphire metallic paintwork with 18" Star-spoke style 325M light alloy wheels and is priced at £33,645.00 ($45,848 at the current rates).

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2011 BMW Z4 Project Flashbang by SR Auto Group

2011 BMW Z4 Project Flashbang by SR Auto Group

SR Auto Group impressed us with lots of impressive tuning package lately. If you remember just recently we have reported about the Project Deathbolt and the Project Veneto. And today its time to talk about the Project Flashbang based on the BMW Z4.

The drawing board for Project Flashbang was filled with an abundance of ideas but in the end the tuner decided to go with what felt natural. SR Group is usually a tuner that modifies the least as possible. But with the Z4 they did a little bit more: they have added an AC Schnitzer front aero lip, a new front bumper, a two piece lip spoiler and a rear with a sharper edge.

The package continues with a new set of wheels from Modulare. The B11 model was finished with a gunmetal tint face and gloss black windows. Completing the package was a set of H&R lowering springs.

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2012 BMW Z4 sDrive23i Flame Edition

2012 BMW Z4 sDrive23i Flame Edition

The Chinese market is well on its way to become the biggest automotive market in the world, so it’s not at all surprising that automakers are sending them special editions by the boatload. BMW sent them the beautiful M3 Tiger Edition last year, and this year they are bringing the special Z4 sDrive23i Flame Edition.

The Flame Edition gets its name from the special desert yellow metallic paint on the exterior. This color was inspired by the Art Karma desert located in the central west coast of South America. Combined with a new set of 17-inch alloy wheels, this paint provides the Z4 with a dynamic and elegant appearance.

The incredible exterior look is highlighted by the elegant touches in the interior. The special BMW Z4 sDrive23i Flame Edition features Alcantara / Nappa leather combined with yellow stitching, a yellow center console, and Alcantara trim for the doors and the center panels. BMW is also offering a personalized version of the piano black trim to provide the Flame Edition with an even cleaner look.

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2012 BMW Z4 Exclusive Canyon Brown M Sport

2012 BMW Z4 Exclusive Canyon Brown M Sport

Special edition trims are nothing new for BMW, but it’s still worth noting considering just how extensive the brand is, especially here in America.

With the 2012 BMW Z4, BMW is looking into raising the awareness and interest for their sports roadster. The company has decided to do away with their previous packages - the Exclusive Ivory White Leather Package being one of them - in lieu of introducing an all-new aesthetic package called the Exclusive Canyon Brown Package.

Available for the standard and the M Sport versions, the Exclusive Canyon Brown Package will feature plenty of new upgrades, including sport seats that come with an exclusive extended Merino leather upholstery with contrasting stitching. Meanwhile, the Z4’s upper dashboard is dressed in a Canyon Brown Oregon leather with contrasting stitching. The front lateral, center armrests, and the passenger-side dashboard come in black Nappa leather while the door handles come in black nappa leather and Fineline Antracite wood trim.

For the Exclusive Canyon Brown M Sport Package, BMW is including more options for the Z4, including an adaptive M suspension, a set of Canyon Brown Extended Merino leather sport seats, an M sports steering wheel with paddle shifters, a new aerodynamic kit, an anthracite headliner, increased top speed limiter, and a set of 18" performance tire upgrades.

As with all packages coming out of BMW, the new Exclusive Canyon Brown programs doesn’t come cheap. For the sDrive35i model, the package retails for $5,050. For the four-cylinder sDrive28i, it’ll cost you $5,350.

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2011 BMW Z4 by Kelleners Motorsport

2011 BMW Z4 by Kelleners Motorsport

We’ve been having plenty of tuning programs for the BMW Z4 recently, including two projects done by Japan’s 3D Design, including the ’Z4 for North America’.

Today, the BMW Z4 is once again front-and-center in the tuning world, only this time, the program comes courtesy of Kelleners Motorsport. Unlike the works made by 3D Design, which were largely based on aerodynamic improvements, Kelleners Motorsport offers the whole gamut of upgrades, including on the powertrain.

With a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine already under the hood of the Z4, Kelleners Motorsport gave it a jolting boost, raising the sports car’s output from 335 horsepower and 332 lb/ft of torque all the way up to a mighty impressive 400 horsepower and 398 lb/ft of torque.

In addition to the engine improvements, Kelleners Motorsport also dressed up the Z4 with a set of 19" and 20" Hamburg or Berlin rims, as well as a lowered ride height by 20mm at the front and 10mm at the rear. Inside, there’s also a new three-spoke sport steering wheel, aluminum pedals, velour floor mats, and bespoke interior finishes in leather with wood trims that can be requested as a customer order.

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