Occupant safety is controlled by BMW’s Advanced Safety Electronics (ASE), with a centrally-mounted safety and information module linked to two ‘satellite’ sensors located in the left and right B pillar. Each module independently detects and measures any impact and with the choice of four airbags, deploys the appropriate restraint. Information is passed by a ‘byteflight’ optical network, giving a faster data transfer and consequent reaction time, causing the following:
- Airbag activation
- Deactivation of the electric fuel pump
- Activation of cabin lighting and hazard warning lights
- Deactivating the alternator
- Pyrotechnically breaking the safety battery terminal
Protection of all occupants is important, and should the driver wish to carry a roadster prodigy in a child seat on the passenger seat, the passenger airbag can be deactivated using the ignition key and switch located in the side of the dashboard. Occupants are notified of the deactivation by a light on the transmission tunnel. Punctures are less of a problem for the Z4 owner as ‘run flat’ tyres are standard across the range of 16”, 17” or optional 18” wheels. Using a reinforced sidewall and a more temperature-resistant rubber compound, the car can be driven safely for up to 90 miles (150kms) at a reduced speed of 50mph (80km/h).
Launched on 19 June 2003, the new Z4 2.5i will be priced at £26,655.00, with the 3.0i available at £30,855.00, and benefit from insurance ratings of 18A for the Z4 2.5i, with the 3.0i coming in at 19A. Many BMW dealers are already reporting sales of the Z4 well into 2004. Interestingly, residual values of the outgoing Z3 remain strong – a 1 year-old, 10,000 mile Z3 1.8i recently sold at auction for 114 per cent of its ‘book’ price.
Alongside the traditional dealer and media marketing, BMW has supported the Z4 through a second series of innovative internet-based short films, under the working title of ‘The Hire’ , British actor Clive Owen stars as the un-named Z4 driver alongside such household names as Gary Oldman and James Brown.Published 23 June 2003