BMW Z4 - ABC Leasing

Car & Driving
The independent definitive BMW Z4 video review
How will you view?

This is a sample, showing 30 seconds of each section.

    ENOUGH Z?(some text hidden)

    By Jonathan Crouch

    Ten Second Review word count: 90

    BMW knows a thing or two about roadsters and this third generation Z4 is one of its best, especially in this improved form. It may not be the sharpest car in its class to drive but on the right day, in the right mood on the right road, you may not care. The engines are efficient and willing, the looks are stunning and the feeling you get behind the wheel still makes you feel twenty years younger. This, it seems, is a Z that might be very hard to catch.

    Background word count: 181

    It took BMW some time to discover a profitable sweet spot in the roadster segment but the Munich maker got there in the end. Having first brought us an exclusive low volume model in this sector (the Z1 of 1989), the brand finally launched an affordable volume contender (the 'E36'-series Z3 of 1995). That sold well enough to be replaced by the slightly larger and more mature first generation 'E85'-series Z4 in 2002. Which itself was replaced by a second generation metal folding-roof 'E89'-series Z4 design in 2009. With the history lesson completed, let's acquaint you with what we're looking at here, a MK3 'G29'-series Z4 model launched in late 2018 after development shared with the new-era Toyota Supra. It claimed to be something its direct predecessor really wasn't and BMW sold 55,000 units globally in a diminishing segment before the light mid-term update that we profile for you here. As before, this Z4 sets out to be a really serious driver's car. And a really serious Porsche 718 Boxster rival. But is it a really serious roadster? Let's find out.

    Driving Experience word count: 307

    There are no mechanical or handling changes for this updated Z4, but it's worth pointing out that the specification for the four cylinder Z4 20i now includes M Sport suspension and variable sport steering as standard. That 197hp TwinPower Turbo 2.0-litre model is now the only four cylinder Z4 you can have, the previous 258hp Z4 30i variant having been deleted. Still, the 20i is pretty rapid, making 62mph from rest in just 6.6s on the way to 149mph. At the top of the range, you can still have a traditional BMW straight-six unit, courtesy of the 340hp engine fitted to the flagship M40i derivative, which sprints to 62mph in 4.6s and has to be artificially restrained at 155mph. Both variants come fitted with an 8-speed Steptronic Sport auto gearbox with gearshift paddles. If you want a manual gearbox with the M40i, there's a special 'Handschalter' version to consider. On the 20i, you're probably going to want to pay extra for adaptive damping - only the M40i gets it as standard, along with uprated brakes and an electronically controlled differential lock. The way the suspension interacts with the steering, the throttle and the differential is key to the way this car responds dynamically, so proactive use of the provided drive modes is crucial if you're pressing on. Do that and you'll find that this car lacks the razor-sharp steering responses of a rival Porsche 718 Boxster, but the helm is quick and accurate, which in combination with superb front-end traction means that corners can be attacked with surprising confidence. Which is the kind of driving experience you'd want a proper roadster to be able to deliver. The fabric roof suits this car far better than the metal-folding top fitted to the pre-2018-era 'E89'-series version. It can be opened or closed in ten seconds at up to 31mph.

    Pictures (High res disabled)


    Category: Compact Car