Here’s Everything We Know About the 2019 BMW Z4 Roadster
Here's Everything We Know About the 2019 BMW Z4 Roadster
By Nick Kurczewski
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Competes with: Audi TT, Mercedes-Benz SLK, Porsche Boxster
Looks like: A wide and lean two-passenger roadster, now back with a soft-top versus the previous model's heavier and more complex folding hardtop
Drivetrain: 255-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder or 382-hp, turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder; eight-speed automatic transmission
Hits dealerships: The Z4 sDrive30i hits dealerships in March 2019; the Z4 M40i will follow later.
2019 BMW Z4 Roadster; Manufacturer images
After going on hiatus for a couple of model years, the BMW Z4 Roadster returns for 2019 with a brand-new look and a more focused mission as it competes with rivals like the Audi TT, Mercedes-Benz SLK and Porsche Boxster. While the 2016 Z4 still had plenty of power, it had morphed from being a small and sporty roadster into more of a luxury-laden convertible with a disjointed exterior design and handling that didn't match most rivals. Worse, it was only available with a retractable hardtop that added weight and complexity to the car.
Roadster fans, fear not: The 2019 Z4 has an honest-to-goodness folding soft-top once again. Available in black or optional Anthracite (gray) with a silver effect, the electrically operated top can be raised or lowered in only 10 seconds and at speeds up to 31 mph.
Overall, the 2019 Z4 has grown in almost every proportion compared to the previous model. The new Z4 is roughly 3 inches wider and 4 inches longer than it was before, while the wheelbase has been shortened by about an inch. BMW makes a point of mentioning that the car now has a perfect 50/50 weight balance front and rear. That bodes nicely for roadster buyers who want sharp handling and sporty driving dynamics versus simply a relaxed luxury cruiser with unlimited headroom.
The 2019 BMW Z4 now has a smoother, more purposeful look to it. At the front end, BMW's trademark twin-kidney grille is flattened and the headlights have been pushed to the corners, giving the car a low and aggressive appearance. This is accentuated by the large lower air intakes and brake duct openings, which leave no doubt that this BMW is about getting down the road — and quickly.
Air outlets along the front fenders are accentuated by twin character lines running along the sides. This adds some visual drama and sense of motion to the Z4's profile. The rear incorporates slim taillamps and an integrated rear spoiler positioned on the trailing edge of the trunk. Standard alloy-wheel size is 18 inches, though 19-inchers are optional.
If you're a fan of BMW's traditional, crisp-and-clear gauge clusters, you might want to avert your eyes. The 2019 Z4 Roadster opts for a high-tech route, called BMW Live Cockpit Professional, the official name for the latest-generation BMW iDrive system. Among other things, this system includes Bluetooth and Apple CarPlay compatibility — though Android Auto functionality was notably missing from BMW's press materials. You can access the car via the BMW Connected app using Apple and Android devices, however.
Directly in front of the driver is a 12.3-inch digital screen with dials that, if I'm being honest, appear a little gimmicky based on photos. The main gauges for speed and engine rpm are positioned in two opposing C-shape configurations located on either side of the display. In between will be a range of customizable displays for radio settings, navigation and other necessary information.
The center console features a 10.25-inch center display for the infotainment system, while the circular iDrive controller is located directly to the right of the eight-speed transmission shift lever. A pair of USB outlets are also part of Live Cockpit Professional.
Under the Hood
The standard engine in the rear-wheel-drive Z4 sDrive30i is a 255-horsepower, turbocharged four-cylinder that delivers 295 pounds-feet of torque and is coupled to an eight-speed automatic with paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel. Stepping up to the Z4 M40i gets you a turbocharged six-cylinder that delivers 382 hp and 369 pounds-feet of torque. One thing you might notice missing is a manual gearbox. That's right: The 2019 Z4 is an automatic-only driving proposition (BMW purists, we feel your pain).
Still, you can't accuse the Z4 of being a slouch even if it takes care of changing gears. BMW estimates the Z4 sDrive30i, equipped with the turbo four-cylinder, accelerates from zero-to-60 mph in 5.2 seconds; the Z4 M40i, meanwhile, drops that to only 4.4 seconds. Both models are electronically limited to a top speed of 155 mph.
This BMW roadster is built for speed, but that doesn't mean safety is forgotten. The 2019 Z4 comes standard with safety features like forward collision warning with pedestrian detection, low-speed emergency braking and lane departure warning. Available as extra-cost options are blind spot monitors, rear cross-traffic alert and adaptive cruise control.
2019 BMW Z4 M40i First Edition; Manufacturer images
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