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

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
its about time the officially official reveal of bmws new z4 roadster

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]

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2 of 25 comments
  • 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.

  • BEPLA My own theory/question on the Mark VI:Had Lincoln used the longer sedan wheelbase on the coupe - by leaning the windshield back and pushing the dashboard & steering wheel rearward a bit - not built a sedan - and engineered the car for frameless side windows (those framed windows are clunky, look cheap, and add too many vertical lines in comparison to the previous Marks) - Would the VI have remained an attractive, aspirational object of desire?
  • VoGhost Another ICEbox? Pass. Where are you going to fill your oil addiction when all the gas stations disappear for lack of demand? I want a pickup that I can actually use for a few decades.
  • Art Vandelay Best? PCH from Ventura to somewhere near Lompoc. Most Famous? Route Irish
  • GT Ross The black wheel fad cannot die soon enough for me.
  • Brett Woods My 4-Runner had a manual with the 4-cylinder. It was acceptable but not really fun. I have thought before that auto with a six cylinder would have been smoother, more comfortable, and need less maintenance. Ditto my 4 banger manual Japanese pick-up. Nowhere near as nice as a GM with auto and six cylinders that I tried a bit later. Drove with a U.S. buddy who got one of the first C8s. He said he didn't even consider a manual. There was an article about how fewer than ten percent of buyers optioned a manual in the U.S. when they were available. Visited my English cousin who lived in a hilly suburb and she had a manual Range Rover and said she never even considered an automatic. That's culture for you.  Miata, Boxster, Mustang, Corvette and Camaro; I only want manual but I can see both sides of the argument for a Mustang, Camaro or Challenger. Once you get past a certain size and weight, cruising with automatic is a better dynamic. A dual clutch automatic is smoother, faster, probably more reliable, and still allows you to select and hold a gear. When you get these vehicles with a high performance envelope, dual-clutch automatic is what brings home the numbers.