The two-seat Z4 roadster uses a standard folding metal hardtop. Trim levels include the four-cylinder sDrive28i, six-cylinder sDrive35i and high-performance sDrive35is, all of which are turbocharged. All three also have standard Driving Dynamics Control, a feature that allows drivers to vary steering and accelerator settings to suit their tastes. Anyone considering the entry-level Z4 might cross-shop Nissan's redesigned 370Z; a loaded Z4, on the other hand, could compete with the Mercedes-Benz SLK, Audi TT or Porsche Boxster.
New for 2013
Despite a starting price that's now $1,300 less, new standard features have been added including power-adjustable front seats with driver-side memory, dual-zone automatic air conditioning, aluminum trim, auto-dimming mirrors, ambient lighting, a universal garage door opener and a compass.
BMW says all of the Z4's surface lines strive toward a point on the road ahead. It's evidently shown in the headlights and hood. BMW's dual-kidney grille remains front and center. Exterior features include:
- Standard 17-inch alloy wheels
- Optional 18- or 19-inch wheels
- Optional automatic high beams
- Unique bumpers, tailpipes and mirrors on sDrive35is
- Optional aerodynamic kit emulates sDrive35is look
Available sun-reflective leather is designed to keep surfaces cooler on a sunny day. Other options include leather-upholstered dashboard and door panels, heated seats and a heated steering wheel. The Z4's iDrive unit, included with an optional navigation system, has better graphics, more shortcut keys and improved menu functionality. Interior features include:
- Standard simulated leather seats
- Optional leather upholstery and sport seats
- Optional upgraded stereo
- Thicker steering wheel, aggressively bolstered seats, faux carbon-fiber trim and gray instruments (sDrive35is)
Under the Hood
The sDrive28i's turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder makes 240 horsepower and 260 pounds-feet of torque. It works with a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission.
A turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder with 300 hp and 300 pounds-feet of torque powers the sDrive35i, which comes with a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. The sDrive35is, meanwhile, adds more turbo boost to provide 335 hp and 332 pounds-feet of torque. Pushed hard, the engine can provide up to 369 pounds-feet of torque for a few seconds. It works through a performance-calibrated version of the dual-clutch automatic. BMW says the sDrive35is can hit 60 mph in 4.8 seconds. Mechanical features include:
- Recalibrated power steering and suspension tuning (sDrive35is)
- Optional adaptive suspension
- Fuel-saving auto stop-start technology (sDrive28i)
- Rear-wheel drive
The standard stability system uses a brake-drying function to keep the discs dry during wet weather. Seat-mounted side-impact airbags are standard, as are four-wheel-disc antilock brakes. Other safety features include:
- Head-protection extension on side airbags
- Knee airbags
- Traction control
- Available front and rear parking sensors
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