Sunday, December 14, 2008

The New Landshark has landed - 2009 BMW Z4

Well folks, today is finally the day we get a true glimpse at the 2009 BMW Z4 and what a glimpse it is! As BMW noted in it's press release, the new Z4 is the first BMW  Z Series to carry a hardtop convertible. As such, this new Z4 will be a hybrid of both coupe and convertible which may leave little hope for those of us looking for a successor to the E85 coupe. 

Moving on though, the new Z4 is a tour de force of  styling, technology and performance. For those of you that followed the many test mule pictures that have littered the internet the you probably already knew what to expect in terms of styling, especially based on some of the prospective spy shots we've shown here before. However, the Z4 looks even better than I had hoped. It retains the classic sports car layout with a potent engine tucked under a long hood with a soft, tapering tail at the rear.

The cut lines that glide down the car from wheel well to wheel well are a strong evolution of the original flame surfacing lines seen on the previous generation Z4. These same cut lines are then accentuated by the fender inlets behind the front wheels, a styling cue taken directly from the CS Concept and already spotted on the new F01 7 Series.


Speaking of the CS Concept, strong cues of the CS Concepts nose are found in the nose of BMW's new land shark. The protruding, wider grill is the most distinct feature of this car and taken directly from the CS. The headlamps of the new Z4 also share CS DNA coupled with an evolution of the previous Z4's headlamp architecture. On the flip side, at the new Z4's rear, we see more styling cues drawn from the current 6 Series with the tail lamps while style retaining the prior Z4's general shape though the rear deck does have more of a supple, gradual slope compared to the very shear, sharp drop of the rear deck of the old Z4. 

Moving inside the car, we see an interior that almost exactly duplicates that of the CS Concept's. In my opinion, this interior really focuses the dash and instruments much more toward the driver, which is thankfully the opposite of the direction BMW's interiors had been moving. Granted it's difficult to tell, but the fit and finish of interior appears to be very refined and polished and pulls design cues from the CS again with the electronic handbrake and the unfortunately goofy looking shifter on automatic/DCT models. That said, the Z4 will be a very comfortable, cozy place  to be that wraps around it's occupants juxtaposed to the somewhat expansive, long dash-laden interior of the previous Z4. 

Outside of styling, the Z4 brings a lot of the new techno goodies that BMW has been working on. Just to name a few, we'll see a new 7-Speed DCT transmission, the improved iDrive interface, electronic handbrake, Dynamic Drive Control - which makes the suspension adjustable(my favorite new option!) Needless to say, the new Z4 will pack the pinnacle of BMW's current road-going technology. Who said Audi's the only one with the mantra "Vorsprung durch Technic?"

Now, for the most important bit. How's it going to perform? It's going to perform pretty damn well actually! As many had hoped, the new Z4 will come equipped with the award-winning 3.0L twin turbo inline-6, which should keep all of the enthusiast crowd happy until BMW graces us with the M variant. The 300 horsepower engine can be coupled to not only a 6-speed manual but the new dual-clutch 7 speed automatic which will likely shift faster than the traditional manual transmission.  

The twin turbo will also be complimented by what many of the US BMW enthusiasts will recognize as the E90 330i engine: the 3.0L 255 HP inline-6. While the twin turbo version with DCT will weigh in just shy of 3,300 lbs, don't fret, it'll still do the 0 to 60 time in 5.0 seconds flat or likely faster given BMW's traditionally conservative performance ratings. So, we've got another BMW that's treading heavily into Porsche 911/Cayman territory? Sounds good to me.

Before you get all excited and run to the phone to call your dealer, you've got to get this new naming system for the car down, otherwise your dealer won't have a clue which engine you want. Thanks to ridiculous laws requiring more clear, non-letter/number nomenclature for model names, the new Z4 will be called the BMW Z4 sDrive35i which stands for "Sports Driver 3.5L injection" - I think, that's my best guess for this new, terrible naming system.

I much prefer the Z4 3.0Si, a throwback to the model numbering of the 1970's. So, if you don't feel like dropping a ton of coin on the top-of-the-line twin turbo sDrive35i then spring for the sDrive30i which should likely start somewhere in the low-to-mid $40's. Look for the new Z4 to officially drop on dealerships May 9, 2009 according to BMW.

Look for us to have a review and further information as we learn more on BMW's hot new roadster.



2009 BMW Z4 - German Pricing

I was just informed that BMW has already set the pricing for those customers that live in Germany. A little bit unexpected since BMW is known for delaying as much as possible the pricing announcement.

The car will become available in Spring, but I have no doubt the dealerships will have a waiting list for the new roadster. Despite a few small concerns that I have heard from several people, most of them in regards to the increased weight, the new BMW Z4 has been received very well. Everyone is praising BMW's new design and Juliane Blasi gets all the attention.

So, let me start by showing you the german base prices for the 2009 BMW Z4: 

·         BMW Z4 sDrive 23i (204 bhp) = 35,900 - euros - 48,071 USD

·         BMW Z4 sDrive 30i (258 bhp) = 42,900 - euros - 57,445 USD

·         BMW Z4 sDrive 35i (306 bhp) = 47,450 - euros - 63,537 USD


And now let's compare it to the previous generation E85 Z4, still german pricing:

·         BMW E85 Z4 2.0i (150HP) = €29,900 - euros - 40,037 USD

·         BMW E85 Z4 2.5i (177HP) = €32,900 - euros - 44,054 USD

·         BMW E85 Z4 2.5si (218HP) = €35,900 - euros - 48,071 USD

·         BMW E85 Z4 3.0si (265HP) = €42,250 - euros - 56,574 USD


Conclusion: A very significant increase, what we have all feared, has just happened. The high-end Z4 sDrive35i costs $7,000 more than its E85 counterpart or a 12.3% increase. I do expect the US pricing to follow the same pattern.

And in the end, let's see how the competitions has priced their roadsters and we will choose Mercedes-Benz and their beautiful SLK.

·         200K (184HP) = 36,500 -euros -48,875 USD 

·         280 (231HP) = 41,860 - euros - 56,052 USD

·         350 (305HP) = 46,975 - euros - 62,901 USD

Conclusion: BMW has priced its new E89 Z4 roadster very close to the SLK, with two out of three models being slightly more expensive, and the base  one, sDrive23i, a few hundred euros cheaper.

Thanks for the SLK numbers EnI!



Review: 2009 E89 BMW Z4

So, as you can see, the new E89 BMW Z4 takes a big step in its new styling. It features very similar designs from the updated 2009 3-Series and the new F-series 7. I love it! I think it's a fantastic way for BMW to go in this department. The interior has an even nicer build quality look than the previous model.

I like how the interior deploys a different look and feel than the current models offered by BMW. One thing BMW does, similarly to mot automakers, they seem to use very similar interior styling. Not that it bothers me, it's just always nice to get into a Z4 and see that it has nothing really in common with a 5-Series. Now, if you get into a 5er and a 3er and see that there are similar placements of the buttons, that's fine, because they serve similar purposes.

Whereas cars like the Z4, 6er and 7's serve the purpose of being the BMW's for different clients. The Z4 is the client that wants a traditional sports car. The 6-Series is the person that wants the upscale BMW in a coupe fashion. Basically a coupe 7. The 7, well, do I have to explain why people buy the 7? I didn't really think so.

The one thing that I do love about BMW, and especially when I talk to the client advisors, the fancy way of calling them salesman, or when I talk to the product managers and such, they all seem to say the same thing without fault, BMW is sport first, and everything else second. I love that attitude. It's about the driver and his or her needs, not all of the fancy stuff they can have. They can have it in there too, if they so please. They just need to click the option box on that one.

But it's what makes a BMW a BMW. There is no BMW that is derived more on luxury than it is sport. That's not what the company has been about in its long history. BMW is a company, like Porsche and Ferrari, that needs no new business plan. They've had pretty much the same one since the beginning, and while they may tweak it here and there, it still drives toward the same balance of customer satisfaction through motorsports. 

But, back to what I was talking about before. The new Z4 is an excellent of BMW tweaking things here and there, but keeping the overall principle. A small 2-door, 2-seat car with traditional motives of sports car abilities and functions, with the right amount of luxury and technology drawn in. 

One thing that I do not like about any of the new BMW's is this push button park brake feature. What in the hell is this? Why can't I have my e-brake to pull whenever I need to? I want to be able to pull in e-brake in the event of an emergency, or the event I want, or need, to help enable a good, clean powerslide, or drift as the new kids call it. Sometimes you want to add a little opposite lock into your daily driving, am I wrong?

Well, at least that's for those of us who can do it and not kill someone, because we're immature and need to learn when not to be stupid on the roads. That means, don't ever be stupid. Be smart, drive safely, because you never know, the person who's life you may be saving, could be mine… 

I can't finish on a down note about the new Z4. It will sure be one hell of an automobile. I can't wait to get one from BMW and put it through its paces. I just hope it has a manual and is a different color than the champagne they seem to love to use to show in their pictures.

BMW, if you're reading, PLEASE, give us the new twin-turbo V8 with a new Z4 M!!! I can't stress enough how great the last Z4 M was. I've driven a Z4 M coupe on so many occasions. It made my heart pump as hard as the times I've driven the new E90/E92 M3. And, if you know me, that's saying a lot! Give us an ///M. Please, also give us a dedicated coupe. I love the hardtop convertible feature, but I, personally, would rather have a coupe. 

Article by Josh from



2009 BMW Z4 - The Ultimate Photo Gallery

If you haven't been following the news in the past few hours, I am going to let you know again  that the all new 2009 BMW Z4 Roadster has been officially unveiled. As expected and as we have seen before, BMW has hit the jackpot with the new BMW Z4 E89. 

So, we decided to come back with our usual, regular, whatever you want to call it, "Ultimate Photo Gallery", we believe the new Z4 deserves its own place on our blog, so we will collect all the photos from now on, into a single page. 

I am not sure about you, but I am duper super excited about the Z4, despite the fact that I have been fighting a severe cold for the past few days, I would jump out in the 20F Chicago weather and drive it RIGHT now. Yes, I know, it's a summer car, but you get my point. 

I would like to end with a big thank you to Ms. Juliane Blasi, the great designer at BMW. I hope she will have her hands into future models as well.

Stay tuned, we'll be back soon with more exclusive news on the Z4. If you would like us to keep you updated on all the BMW news, please take a moment and sign up for our email feed Get updates by email or grab the RSS Feed



Click on the photos within gallery for a higher resolution, we set them up at 1600×900

Gallery after the jump



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