The BMW Z4 is a 2-door, rear wheel drive sports car by the German automaker BMW. Production started in 2003, and thus replaced the BMW Z3. The design addresses many criticisms of the Z3; the Z4 is larger, more powerful, and has a significantly stiffer chassis. It is built in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Initially, the Z4 was available only as a roadster, but in 2006 the coupÃ© version was officially launched.
The Z4 was designed by Chris Bangle and began the controversy over his "flame surfacing" design and aggressive styling choices, which can also be seen on most modern BMW cars, most noticeably the 7-series and 5-series.
While the Z4's front suspension is essentially the same as the Z3's, the rear suspension is considerably different from its predecessors, which was based on that of the E30 BMW 3-Series. Instead of a semi-trailing arm suspension, the Z4 uses a more advanced multi-link suspension.
The Z4 offers a choice of four straight-six motors: A 2.2 L, a 2.5 L, a 3.0 L, and a 3.2 L. The 2.2 L, 120 kW (170 bhp) version can reach 100 km/h in 7.7 s, but is not sold in the United States. All are variants of the BMW M54 engine. In the european market, a 2.0 L straight-4 is also offered.
The 2.5 L engine produces 141 kW (184 bhp) at 6000 rpm. BMW claims a 7.0 s time to 100 km/h (62 mph) with a manual transmission. It weighs 1,335 kg (2,932 lb) with a manual transmissionâ€”30 kg (66 lb) lighter than the 3.0 L version, but still heavier than the 2.5 L Z3's weight of 1315 kg (2899 lb).
The 3.0 L, 170 kW (231 bhp) (at 5900 rpm) straight six has a claimed time to 100 km/h (62 mph) of 5.9 s.
The 3.2 L, 246 kW (330 bhp) at 7900 rpm and (262 lb-ft) of torque at (4900 rpm)
Five-speed manual gearboxes are standard on all models except the 3.0 L and the M Roadster, which has a 6-speed Getrag. 5-speed automatic or 6-speed SMG transmissions are available on all cars. The M Roadster shares its 6-speed Getrag 217 manual gearbox with the M3.
A Sport package is also available, which adds stiffer and lower suspension, larger wheels with run-flat tires, and Dynamic Driving control, BMW's Vehicle Stability Control system.