This Summer's 'Must Have' : The All New Z4 Roadster | Part Two

Options To Make Each Car Individual

Z4 customers can benefit from levels of optional equipment only normally associated with luxury cars. Available in two specifications - Business and Professional - navigation systems feature on a BMW roadster for the first time. On the Professional system, an 8.8 inch (22.5 cm) monitor flips up from the top of the dashboard, with the screen also doubling as a television if specified (the Business system is integrated into the dashboard facia).

Whether it's Jay Z, Led Zeppelin or ZZ Top, music lovers will have the option of a six CD unit mounted between the seats or a dash-mounted MiniDisc player. Sound can be delivered through the standard six-speaker system or a choice of two optional ten speaker Hi-Fi systems, with the Professional system including the state-of-the-art Carver technology. Preparation for a Bluetooth telephone can also be specified by those who need to stay in touch whilst on the move, allowing a hands-free Nokia 6310i telephone to be used.

BMW's Roadster Heritage

The Z4 represents the latest in a long line of highly regarded BMW roadsters. It all began with the 328 in 1936 which won more than 130 races including the Mille Miglia in 1938 and the Le Mans 24 hours in 1939. The tradition continued in 1955 with the introduction of the V8-engined aluminium-bodied 507, one of the fastest and most technically advanced road cars of the 1950's.

More recently, 1987 saw the launch of the Z1. This was initially designed simply to showcase new technologies with its bonded plastic floor, plastic body and electrically lowering doors but, by 1991, around 8,000 Z1's had been registered worldwide due to huge customer demand.

Built in a new factory in South Carolina, USA, the Z3 was introduced in 1995 and by the time the car finished production at the Spartanburg plant in 2002, nearly 300,000 cars had been built. The Z3 represents BMW's best selling roadster to date, with 22,000 coming to the UK.

At the other end of the roadster spectrum, the Z8 is BMW's most powerful roadster ever. The £80,000 supercar was launched in 1999 and combines a huge 400bhp V8 engine with some retro styling cues but using the most advanced construction techniques.

The Z4 is the next step in BMW's roadster heritage.

Published 18 March 2003 Melanie Carter

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