BMW logo with "The Ultimate Driving Machine" tagline.
When the Z4 roadster was introduced in 2003, it was a significant leap forward from its highly successful Z3 predecessor. Indeed, the Z4's debut was much more than just "successor replaces predecessor", for the new Z4 roadster put BMW in a more elevated, sophisticated segment of the roadster market.
The successor to the moderately successful Z3 roadster, featuring the most daring design by BMW's Chris Bangle yet. The upscale 3.0i is powered by the same 3.0 liter in-line six engine found in its predecessor.
To paint the broad strokes: Built on a longer wheelbase than that of the Z3, the Z4 is also wider and longer, while employing advanced engineering to keep any associated weight increase to a minimum. More to the point, the Z4 expresses a traditional concept, that of the two-seat sport roadster, in utterly new terms of unique design, contemporary engineering and comprehensive features.
The Z4 places BMW squarely in the field of sophisticated, full-featured sport roadsters. It comes exclusively with 6-cylinder power and offers a choice of four transmission types. Its chassis engineering is new, encompassing multi-link rear suspension, standard run-flat tires and wheel/tire diameters up to 18 inches. The Z4 offers amenities and options never before seen in a regular-production BMW roadster. Safety engineering and features have been further developed.
As was the Z3, the Z4 Series is produced at BMW's Spartanburg, South Carolina factory, which employs the most advanced production equipment and processes and serves all international markets for the Z4. Two models are offered: the Z4 roadster 2.5i at $33,895 base price including destination; and the higher-performing, more extensively equipped Z4 roadster 3.0i at $41,045. As with all other 2004 BMWs, these prices include BMW Full Maintenance for 4 years or 50,000 miles.
What's new for 2004.
The 2004 Z4 roadsters are improved in detail for the 2004 model year:
Rain-sensing windshield wipers and automatic headlight control, formerly included in the optional Convenience Package, are now standard.
BMW Assist, a suite of convenience and safety services built around an integrated wireless communication and positioning system, is newly offered as part of the Premium Package or a stand-alone option.
New multi-function steering wheel for enhanced convenience.
Hardtop prep is offered as an option; the hardtop is available for the 2004 model year.
A new color combination "Dream Red/Black" is offered for the leather interior that is standard in the 3.0i model and optional in the 2.5i, and for the extended-leather interior that is optional in the 3.0i only. This is in addition to the already available Dream Red/Gray combination for both these interiors.
The rumor mill has been blowing hot and cold about a Z4-based coupe and a new hot-rod M Roadster. Spy photographers have seen advanced prototypes of both, but BMW has apparently been debating any additions in light of the euro's continuing surge against the dollar. If the final answer is yes, we'd expect see 2.5i and 3.0i coupes during 2005, likely as '06 models. M Roadster timing is less clear, but we wouldn't rule out an introduction as early as this winter. One source says the M Roadster would share a 333-hp 3.2-liter six with the four-seat M3 coupe and convertible and feature expected upgrades to the normal Z4's chassis, body, wheels/tires, and interior. It will be interesting to see what transpires.
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