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Roadster Redefined: BMW unveils the new Z4 convertible

By Paul Connolly

BMW has unveiled the latest version of its Z4 roadster – featuring a folding fabric roof and a 0-60mph time of less than 4.6 seconds.

The reveal was made this week at Pebble Beach, California and confirms months of leaks, teasers and also an early prototype.

UK and Ireland sales are expected in Spring of next year, although orders will likely be taken before then.

The car emerged from part of a joint project with Toyota and its development of its new Supra sports car (based on a famous Toyota car).

BMW says the new Z4, an open-top two-seater, has “dynamic proportions, emotional design and fascinating sportiness”.

This is the sixth generation of the Z4, which has been around since 1989.

The car unveiled this week is a range-topping Z4 M40i model, which will first appear as a special First Edition model.

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BMW says the Z4 has shed 50kg of weight from the earlier model and has new driving dymanics, including a central sitting position for the driver, low centre of gravity, “perfectly balanced” 50 : 50 axle load distribution, wide tracks and a compact wheelbase.

The Z4 M40i First Edition boasts under the bonnet a powerful 250 kW/340 hp, straight six-cylinder engine and a sports suspension with electronically controlled dampers, M Sport braking system and an electronically controlled M Sport differential in the rear axle transmission.

It has a folding fabric roof instead of the hard-top seen on the fifth generation car.

Zero to 62mph (100kph) takes 4.6 seconds. Fuel consumption of the M40i First Edition is estimated at combined fuel consumption: 7.1-7.4 l/100 km with combined CO2 emissions at 162-168 g/km).

The design has changed significantly from the fifth-generation model, with vertically aligned headlights, a new mesh design on the BMW kidney grille, a stretched bonnet, large air breathers on the front wheel arches and a distinctive spoiler integrated into the rear lid.

 Inside, the cabin and driver cockpit gets a new design inspired by “dynamic forward-oriented lines” which lend a very modern edge to the interior.

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BMW has added a range of new enhancements, many of which are seen in the Z4 M40i First Edition pictured here.

These include expressive body paintwork in Frozen Orange metallic an electrically operated textile soft top in anthracite with silver effect and a BMW Individual High Gloss Shadow Line.

Other goodies include black exterior mirror caps and 19-inch light alloy wheels boasting a bicolour, double spoke design.

There’s also Vernasca black leather trim with decorative stitching, electrically adjustable seats with memory function, optional ambient light and the Harman Kardon Surround Sound System.

Other features include adaptive LED headlights with matrix function for the high beam, BMW Head-Up Display featured for the first time in a roadster and the BMW Live Cockpit Professional offering the latest networking technology.

Full details of the new Z4, including further engine variants, technical innovations and the more equipment features will be next month, and at the Mondial de l’Automobile in Paris in October.

No UK price or specifications have been revealed, but industry observers reckon the price range will be £30-50k.

The worldwide market launch will commence in the spring of 2019.

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