When the BMW Z4 was originally designed, it was taking aim at the much-maligned Mercedes SLK. Thankfully, BMW have realised that they have bigger fish to fry, and the BMW Z4 new design is a testament to that.
As the name suggests, the Z4 belongs to the Z Series, which is a selection of roadsters with five generations including sports cars and concept variants.
The Z stands for Zukunft, which is German for 'future', and we can certainly see that this year.
Thankfully, the latest Z4 has become all the sportier in its appearance, doing away with the folding hardtop and opting for a fabric soft top.
This makes it lightweight (though not lighter than its predecessors, but with a more efficient, lower centre of gravity), while it’s got a shorter wheelbase which is great for laps, and the wider track provides a more confident grip on the road.
Oh yes, the new Z4 roadster is every bit the latest BMW sports car.
In addition to the Z4 convertible roof, there’s also the new BMW Z4 engine. For 2018 we have a twin power six-cylinder engine that boasts 340BHP.
You’ll also find the four-cylinder 30i and 20i variants. But let’s face it, we’re all more interested in those six cylinders.
For starters, they’ll take you to 7,000RPM with contemptuous ease. Then there are the paddles, which put the control back in your hand and make it nothing short of dreamy to drive.
There’s not a lot we can fault with the New Z4 2018 performance. You’ll get to 155MPH without breaking a sweat thanks to the sturdy chassis and tremendous grip. There’s no need to worry about roll either thanks to the flawless suspension.
One thing that’s perhaps a little superfluous is the engine noise. It almost feels as if this has been artificially added, which it really didn’t need to be – it’s impressive enough dragging such a juggernaut along as it is. The steering feels a little heavily weighted on the back wheels rather than the front, but these are really just minor points for what is a very smooth drive.
So, how many other people can share this positively euphoric experience? Unfortunately for your passengers, only one.
Still, it doesn’t try to be anything it’s not by optimistically shoehorning in another two seats, plus there’s still fair boot space of 310 litres with the hood up, and 180 litres with the top down. Enough to carry a bag full of golf clubs, in case you’re interested.
Comfort is king with the electric bolsters helping you adjust your seat with ease. There is some difference in the X4 when it comes to design, but it’s not hugely distinct from other models like the 8 Series.
We have the “version 7.0” of the BMW iDrive on-board infotainment system, which makes use of rotary controllers and easy-to-use buttons to customise settings such as climate control.
In addition to this, the central screen is, in fact, touchscreen, so it’s a breath of fresh air to have a mixture of both buttons and touch-sensitive controls. (Take note, Audi.) Of course, you’ll have to upgrade if you want to enjoy the mobile app benefits of the BMW ConnectedDrive technology.
We should be able to experience all the worldly pleasures of the roadster in spring. That leaves us with the final question: how much does a BMW Z4 cost? The new BMW Z4 2018 price comes in at £35,000, which is less than one of its closest rivals, the Porsche Boxster.
We feel this is justified with the innovative new features and overall considerations for driver comfort, even if it does fall flat in a few places.
It’s also highly economical considering its breakneck speeds, from 39 to 46MPG. However, if you’re looking to travel with passengers, this might be best left alone for weekend breaks.
Confidence at the speeds the Z4 can reach is imperative, so it’s refreshing to feel a strong grip on the road almost regardless.
Certainly, BMW could tighten up a few areas, namely, getting rid of that needless roar and some interior features, but it’s definitely a great car for that effortlessly cool factor. Put the hood down and enjoy yourself.