After months of teasing with the Z4 concept car, BMW has revealed the full production model at Pebble Beach near Monterey in California.
BMW is showing off the car exactly a year after it debuted the Concept Z4, just ahead of the famous Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
Co-developed with Toyota, the new roadster will go on sale early next year. But although it’ll share a platform and engine with the Japanese manufacturer’s new Supra, the latter will be sold as a hard-top coupe rather than the soft top fitted to the Z4.
Proportionally, the Z4 is a world away from its predecessor. It has a shorter wheelbase and a more purposeful scale, with a short front overhang, gaping kidney grilles and a clearly rising beltline. Gone is the heavy folding hard top, too – replaced by an electric fabric roof for added simplicity plus lightness and which can be raised or lowered in just 10 seconds.
In total, the new Z4 is expected to be 50kg lighter than its predecessor.
The model revealed at Pebble Beach is a high-powered M40i, with a 335bhp 3.0-litre straight-six engine under the bonnet and electronically controlled sports suspension. BMW claims perfect 50:50 weight distribution. Performance is impressive too: 0-60mph will take just 4.4 seconds.
On show was the First Edition trim, with unique Frozen Orange paintwork, 19-inch light-alloy wheels and a leather interior with Harman Kardon sound system.
The full powertrain line-up is likely to include a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine as well as a more highly tuned version of the 3.0-litre straight-six – potentially in an even more focused M model. Engines are likely to be mated to eight-speed ZF automatic gearboxes, although this hasn’t been confirmed.
The interior has been kept under wraps, but the images show a compact cabin filled with classic BMW design cues. There’s the latest version of the iDrive infotainment system and a newly designed digital instrument panel.
The new Z4 is due to go on sale early next year. No prices have yet been announced, but we’d anticipate a starting point of around £30,000 for lesser-powered models and around £50,000 for the M40i.