The facelifted version of BMW Z4 was launched in India in late 2013 and the makeover was pretty mild with redone bumpers, a new chrome grille, freshly styled headlamps and redesigned alloy wheels. There were no mechanical changes and so like its predecessor, the new Z4 sDrive is powered by 3 litre, 6 cylinder, twin turbo direct injection petrol engine. It is mated to 7 speed automatic transmission and churns out 302 bhp while having 40.8 kgm of peak torque. BMW has also launched an sDrive 35iS (there’s an extra S after 35i) with 335 bhp but that model is yet to arrive in the sub continent.
There are actually two Z4 variants available with a price difference of about Rs 1 lakh between them. The upper end sDrive 35i Design Pure trim has all the features of base variant - sDrive 35i (Prestige) but it comes with additional ornamentation in the form of Alcantara leather interior upholstery, individual leather anthracite and metal weaved interior trim finishers. So if you are a little more style conscious and do not mind shelling out extra, the DP version might suit your tastes.
And here’s a review of the features that the two variants have in common:
This rear wheel drive sports car is inspired by BMW’s previous roadsters including the Z1, Z8 and Z3. The sweeping hood, low belt-line and low slung rear end are some distinguishing features that give Z4 sDrive 35i its sporty looks. A sharp V lined crease on the bonnet makes for smart detailing and the stretched kidney grille adds to the aggressive stance of this car. After the makeover, the bi-xenon headlamps look little more stretched & sharp and their corona rings are optimised with daytime running LEDs. There is a splash of chrome on the side indicators and the contrast coloured retractable hardtop makes things little more dramatic.
The two-door Z4 looks very athletic and suave with its profile creases and the subtly sloping coupe roofline. The set of multi spoke style 18 inch alloy wheels includes mixed tyres – 225/40 R18 for front and 255/35 R18 for rear. At the rear the broad bumper with slim reflector lights, and the diffuser with twin chrome outlets draw attention. Lined with LEDs on their lower edges, the sleek tail lamps stretching a little towards the sides also look smart.
BMW Z4 sDrive 35i is 4239mm long and has a wheelbase of 2496mm.
Getting inside the two seater cabin you will see that it has sufficient room (at least for two) and does look refined. The dashboard and centre console are dressed in a combination of soft plastic, leather and glossy metal trim. The long bonnet and the road ahead can be clearly seen, even though it’s a low slung driving position in the cockpit. Body coloured inlays on the door panels and lower ends of dashboard contrast nicely against the black cabin.
The ConnectedDrive (infotainment) package comprises BMW Apps; Bluetooth and USB connectivity; extended Bluetooth with audio streaming, voice control and contact photo display; optional navigation system with maps on 8.8 inch iDrive monitor, and a 650 W music system with multiple speakers – although you wont need any music while enjoying this roadster to its fullest. With its hooded dials the instrument cluster can be clearly read from the driver’s seat. The three spoke steering wheel has buttons for audio and Bluetooth settings.
The ergonomically devised cabin has a host of well planned features. The driver and co-driver’s seats can be electronically adjusted for height and lumbar support. Likewise the steering wheel is adjustable for both rake and reach.
There is a two zone automatic climate control in the Z4 and this makes the cabin a pleasant place to be in even while you are driving the car with its top down. What keeps the interiors further insulated against the extreme outside temperature is a hard top roof instead of fabric that was used earlier. Park Distance Control with front and rear sensors is a standard attribute and it comes with acoustic signal that warns the driver of potential dangers and minimises the likelihood of any damage while maneuvering the car through poky zones. An easy to read coloured system displays the distance (from obstructions) in green, yellow or amber; making it easier to judge how much space you have for your car’s movements.
You get gearshift paddles mounted on the steering wheel. The maximum storage capacity of the boot is only 310 litres – this is not a car that you can load with luggage for your vacation trips.
BMW’s roadster has an array of safety set ups that include anti lock brake system with electronic brakeforce distribution and brake assist. It has cornering brake control, dynamic stability control and dynamic traction control. Electronic differential lock allows for comfortable and safe starts on slippery or loose road surfaces. So if one wheel begins to spin, the electronic differential lock brakes the wheel as required and directs power to wheel with better traction.
Tyre pressure monitoring info for run flat tyres is provided on the instrument cluster. And there are protective safety features in form of six airbags for both the occupants, three point seat belts with pyrotechnic tensioners and force limiters. Warning triangle with first aid kit and anti-theft engine immobiliser are other safety elements.
The Z4 sDrive 35i costs Rs 70.90 lakhs (ex showroom price Delhi) and the tag on sDrive 35i Design Pure reads Rs 71.90 lakhs (ex showroom price Delhi).
Roadsters are about performance and not practicality – this BMW has a refined engine and feels special even though it loses by a little margin to Porsche Boxster when it comes to handling.