BMW’s 2019 BMW Z4 is finally here in production form after a seemingly endless gestation. Co-developed with unlikely partner Toyota, the new Z4 replaces the gasping – or more accurately, dead – E89.
Yeah. Remember when BMW was still in the Es? They’re now well into the Gs.
The first cab(riolet) off the rank is the Z4 M40i First Edition. It’s an interesting start, an M Performance model. Then again, we’ve been waiting so damn long, it’s nice the wait is over.
BMW chose to unveil the Z4 Concept last year in at the Pebble Beach Concours so it made sense to bring the production car for its debut.
And as you can see in the photos, Frozen Orange is one of the colour options and it looks pretty good.
The Bavarians aren’t mucking about with the First Edition – the 250kW (340PS) twin turbo straight-six. This is a terrific engine in the M140i so it’ll be brilliant in the Zed.
It’s one of BMW’s modular sixes and never fails to be brilliant. Irritatingly, that’s it for the info. We’re going to take a pot-shot on the transmission and say it’s a six-speed manual or the ZF eight-speed automatic.
Again, without much context, BMW says the Z4 M40i will hit 100km/h (62mph) in 4.6 seconds.
The First Edition features adaptive damping, black 19-inch alloys, M Sport brakes and electronic M Sport differential.
If history is any guide – and it generally is – with that diff and that engine, this thing will be a dead-set rocket in a straight line and the corners.
As is legislated by the UN (it isn’t), the Z4 has a 50:50 weight distribution, so even in its least powerful form, it should be good fun. The press release says nothing about weight.
This is a fine-looking interior and it’s the first good look we’ve got at BMW’s new Live Cockpit. So far Munich has delivered a halfway house digital dash but this one is a proper slab of glass like Mercedes and Audi.
The FE has black leather, a trick Harmon Kardon system and a head-up display. BMW says the cockpit is driver-oriented, but the company says that about all their cars.
Having said that, the interior is not typical functional-but-dull – with the new Live Cockpit to start with, the fit-out looks all-new. The Z4 looks to be a taster for a new direction for BMW cabins and from what I can see, I’m in favour.
It probably doesn’t need to be said, but it’s a strict two-seater with an electrically-operated fabric roof.
We’ll learn a lot more at the Paris Auto Salon in October and the 2019 BMW Z4 will go on sale in the second quarter of next year.