THE ALL NEW BMW Z4 sDRIVE30i ROADSTER ARRIVES JUST IN TIME TO FUEL SUMMER BOULEVARD FANTASIES
BY EVAN MONROE
At last August’s Monterey Car Week and Concours d’Elegance a carnival of motors and gentle madness that includes classic cars taking to city streets, golf courses, parks, and the world renowned Weather Tech Raceway Laguna Seca BMW made two brand pivotal unveilings: the Z4 sDrive30i Roadster, which just arrived in March showrooms in time for spring, and the 2020 BMW Z4 M40i Roadster, set to follow later this year.
The sixth generation of a two seat hard and drop top model that began production in 1989 as the Z1, the all new Z4 continues a decade old tradition of subtle upsizing (the Z3 of 1995 to 2002 was widely upbraided as offering too little interior space). This year’s Z4 proportions have grown in every area over its immediate predecessor: 3.3 inches longer, 2.9 inches wider, and a half inch taller. The wheelbase has been shortened by an inch, which, combined with notably wider tracks (up 3.86 inches in front and 2.45 in the rear) and perfect 50:50 weight distribution, contribute too much enhanced agility. This meaner if not leaner aesthetic is amplified by a long hood with arrow shaped contour lines directed at the kidney grill, while the nose straddles wheel arches in a clamshell style reminiscent of past BMW sports cars. Along for the joyride in the sDrive30i is a new and more powerful two liter, four cylinder Twin Power turbo motor, which adds 15 horsepower (for a total of 255) and an impressive 35 lb. ft. of torque. Speed enthusiasts who can wait for the Z4 M40i will be rewarded by 382 horsepower. Both models share an eight speed Steptronic Sport transmission with shift paddles on the steering wheel.
Smart systems include anti-lock brakes and dynamic brake, cornering, and traction control. The BMW Live Cockpit Professional combines a new display and control concept its nucleus a 12.3 inch instrument cluster display behind the steering wheel. There’s also a 10.25 inch center display with haptic controls and a tablet like touch interface with cloud based voice control.
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