The new BMW Z4 will make its world debut at the Paris Motor Show later this month. BMW's all-new roadster replaces the extremely successful Z3 model which sold over 21,800 units since it went on sale in the UK in January 1997 and over 300,000 worldwide. The new Z4 will be on sale in the UK in the summer of 2003.
The Z4 features another strain of BMW's new design philosophy. Characterised by sculpted lines and edges, soft rounded corners and deep body recesses, the Z4 displays an interplay of contours, shadows and reflections to create a powerful and athletic overall effect. Yet despite its striking design, the Z4 retains all the attributes typical of a classic roadster - a long, sleek and elongated bonnet, snug cockpit and short muscular rear end.
The interior design mirrors the concave and convex surfaces of the car's exterior design. The cleanly-styled cabin gives a clear sense of purpose and includes optional features like satellite navigation which is housed in the top of the dashboard and pops up when required. In this way it does not interrupt the clean lines of the interior.
The new Z4 will initially be launched with two 6-cylinder models - the 2.5i and the top of the range 3.0i. The 2.5i develops a maximum output of 192 bhp at 6,000 rpm and the 3.0i 231 bhp at 5,900 rpm. Acceleration from 0-62 mph is reached in 7.0 seconds in the 2.5i and 5.9 seconds in the 3.0i. Top speeds are 146 mph and 155 mph respectively. The 2.5i weights just 1,260 kg, the 3.0i being only slightly heavier at 1,290 kg.
Chassis and Suspension
When it comes to dynamic performance and poised handling the chassis of the new Z4 has been designed from the ground up without compromise. With 50:50 weight distribution, rear wheel drive, an extremely wide track and anti-roll bars front and rear, the Z4 tackles the most demanding of roads with gusto. For drivers in search of an even more dynamic and sporting performance M Technic sports suspension, lowered by 15 mm, is available.
Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) with Dynamic Traction Control (DTC)
The new Z4 comes with DSC as standard. Integrated within DSC is ASC (Automatic Stability Control), which reduces power and applies the brakes individually on the drive wheels to avoid any loss of traction. This function has now been extended by the addition of Dynamic Traction Control (DTC). DTC offers many of the benefits of a limited slip differential but at the extremes of driving stability will act as a safety net. DTC allows greater slip angles on the rear wheels up to a speed of approximately 50 mph.
Dynamic Drive Control (DDC)
By simply pressing a button, the enthusiastic driver can sharpen the response of the car still further. Available as an option, DDC gives more engine power for a smaller movement of the throttle and applies a more sporting and dynamic engine control map. DDC is also available on Z4 models fitted with SSG (Sports Sequential Gearbox) or with automatic transmission. On both, the DDC button allows higher engine speeds before gear changes, whilst the change itself is achieved even more quickly. DDC also provides more direct steering on all transmission types.
Like the ISIS network in the new 7 Series, the Z4 is fitted with satellite sensors to control the individual activation of the airbags instead of the "decision" being taken by one central control unit. The result is more accurate activation of the appropriate airbag in the event of an impact. A child seat complete with ISOFIX can also be fitted, in which case the passenger airbags would be disabled.The new BMW Z4 is fitted with a number of innovations that position it as the technological leader in its class. Electronic power steering, runflat tyres, H7 high beam headlights and a fully electric roof with a scratch-proof rear window are all standard, plus the option of three transmissions (auto, manual or sequential manual) to ensure that the new Z4 is tailored to meet the needs of even the most demanding drivers.
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