It's About Time: The Officially Official Reveal of BMW's New Z4 Roadster

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

After the prolonged teasing of both the new BMW Z4 and Toyota Supra, it’s nearly impossible to have any feelings left on the matter. We equate it to the rare sensation of desperately needing to urinate for an extended period before it mysteriously goes away. It’s impossible to know why or how that feeling left you, especially considering that’s now how things are supposed to work. But, inexplicable as it may be, it still happened.

That doesn’t mean you’re unrelieved when you finally make it to a bathroom. It just wasn’t the big event you were hoping for. The Z4 unveiling is a lot like that. We’re glad it’s finally here, but Bimmer’s returning roadster has been teased out, leaked, and speculated upon so much that it’s not that big of a deal anymore.

Alright, let’s see what BMW has for us.

Borrowing from the 8 Series, the 2019 Z4 looks exceptionally wide, with a stout grille and thinner tail lamps. It also has a front bumper that elicits an oddly cruel grin when combined with its semi-scowling headlights. It’s spiffy and reminiscent of the previous generation. But we wouldn’t call it downright gorgeous.

The very prominent kidney grille takes on a bold mesh design, giving the car a big face, while the back is more subtly elegant — almost Porsche-like.

As rumored, the BMW Z4 M40i First Edition is powered by a 3.0-liter inline-six engine. However, the automaker let us down yet again by neglecting to release any specs for it. This is likely due to the Toyota Supra using the same powerplant and the pair wanting to keep things quiet until it’s the Japanese car’s time to shine. Of course, this also continues to make us hate both cars a little more every day.

BMW was willing to say the mill’s output should be sufficient to propel the Z4 from 0-62 mph in roughly 4.4 seconds, which isn’t bad. It also receives an M-tuned sport suspension with electronically controlled dampers, upgraded braking system, and an electronically controlled rear differential.

However, we already know that the inline-six should make around 380 horsepower and 370 lb-ft of torque. Meanwhile, the followup 30i is rumored to receive the very common B48 — a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four in the neighborhood of 250 hp. Transmission options are likely to be limited exclusively to an automatic eight-speed on both cars.

First Edition models have the benefit of the exclusive Frozen Orange Metallic paint, a ragtop with silver accents, fancier trim bits throughout the interior, Vernasca black leather trim with decorative stitching, and power seats. Those units will also come with 19-inch, 10-spoke wheels with a two-tone finish.

The Germans are also chucking in adaptive LED headlights, digital gauges with a head-up display, and BMW’s next-generation Live Cockpit system with two dual digital displays.

The 2019 BMW Z4 30i should arrive in the United States in the spring of 2019, while the M40i version goes on sale in a few months later. BMW says “full details” and specifications will be announced on September 18th.

[Images: BMW]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • SilverCoupe SilverCoupe on Aug 24, 2018

    I generally like, but I am not loving the door handles, they mar the lines of the car.

  • Hummer Hummer on Aug 24, 2018

    Other than the rear end looking low rent, sign me up for the inline 6 with a manual, first BMW I can remember being interested in. 305s should cure the rear end issue. Also why is the 40i a 3.0 while the 30i a 2.0, anyone that buys this with a 2.0T engine should be neutered for wasting that much money to buy a 4 cylinder car.

  • MaintenanceCosts It's not really much of a thought in the buying process. I would think twice about a vehicle assembled in China but other than that I really don't care. Looking at my own history, I've bought six new cars in my lifetime (I don't think choice of used cars says anything at all). I think the most patriotic of them were mostly Japanese brands. (1) Acura, assembled in Japan (2) Honda, assembled in U.S. (3) Pontiac, assembled in Australia (4) Subaru, assembled in U.S. (5) Ford, assembled in U.S. (6) Chevrolet, assembled in Korea
  • ToolGuy News Flash: Canada isn't part of the U.S.
  • Dave M. My Maverick hybrid is my first domestic label ever. It was assembled in Mexico with US components. My Nissan and Subaru were made here, my Toyota, Isuzu and other Nissan had J VINs.
  • ToolGuy "and leaves auto dealers feeling troubled" ...well this is terrible. Won't someone think of the privileged swindlers??
  • ToolGuy "Selling as I got a new car and don't need an extra." ...Well that depends on what new car you chose, doesn't it? 😉