BMW's latest addition to its highly respected roadster pedigree, the Z4, has become more accessible with the addition of the new 2.2-litre model to the current 2.5i and 3.0i line up. Following the Z4's June UK debut, production of the third Z4 roadster variant started in October 2003, priced at £24,255 on-the road.
The familiar straight-six, 2.2-litre engine from the 3 and 5 Series ranges lies under the bonnet, powering the Z4 2.2i from rest to 62 mph in 7.7 seconds. With the engine also developing 210 Nm of torque at 3,500 rpm, the car is no slouch on twisting, mountainous roads or the highway. The car is capable of a wind-in-the-hair top speed of 140 mph.
Developing maximum power output of 170 bhp at 6,100 rpm, its engine is controlled by a drive-by-wire throttle butterfly. Engine and gearbox electronics 'know' which gear is selected and adapt the throttle butterfly response offering supreme flexibility and maximum performance whatever the circumstances.
As on the 2.5-litre model, the Z4 2.2i offers drivers a manual five-speed gearbox as standard with the option of a five-speed automatic priced at £1,350. Carried over the from the 3 Series range, the automatic gearbox includes BMW's Steptronic system with manual shift; drivers simply pull back the lever to change up and push forwards to down shift.