Up until recently, BMW Z4 customers could have chosen between the soft-topped, Roadster and the Coupe version - but not any more. The new BMW Z4 is the first BMW Roadster to have a retractable hard-top and, with the combined option of a 'drop-top' and the security and looks of a coupe, it serves to replace both.

Recent television advertisements have portrayed BMW as the 'maker of joy', which some might think is typically pretentious of the marque. Furthermore, the information pack is full of hyperbole but, even more irritating, is the fact that in the case of the BMW Z4, at least, it is true. The words superb, superior and supreme really do apply to many aspects of this new car.

The BMW Z4 is built in classic Roadster style and proportions and that generally means a lengthy bonnet. In some modern Roadsters the driver sits amidships as part of the balancing act that affects the feel and dynamics of the car. However, in the new BMW Z4 the driver sits very much closer to the rear axle of this long wheelbase car - that is about 2/3 of the way towards the rear. The seating position makes the bonnet seem extremely long, even if you can't see most of it. In fact, it is very long, slightly domed and low-slung; in short, it is imposing both from the outside and behind the steering wheel.

The strong swage lines flow between the individual components in a fluid manner. A good example is the crease line that starts either side of the famous kidney grille and moves outwards forming the inner edge of the headlight clusters before emphasising the broadness of the bonnet on its way to the angled door handles. It is the various design lines that create the bold, wide, impression at the rear and an overall sense of movement.

The new, two-piece roof is so well integrated into the body design that, as mentioned, it does away with the need for a separate BMW Z4 Coupe. Not only does the aluminium hard-top offer extra security but also the inevitable insulation from the elements and road noise. Furthermore, it takes just 20 seconds to go from cosy coupe to as much air conditioning as you can handle, with just a press of a button at the base of the centre console.

BMW Z4 Review | Part Two

Published : 01/12/09 Author : Melanie Carter

BMW Z4 News

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