When being sexy is everything
BMW launched their updated Z4 in the year 2013 in India, and we’ve got to grips with it in and around Delhi, and came away impressed with its looks. For those of you in search of a road test perspective, this might be the shortest yet most crisp account you are about to digest.Won’t go unnoticed
The Z4 is undoubtedly the sexiest roadster ever made. It is a feast to our eyes. And when you make that haul at the traffic signal, you’re bound to get all the stares from across the street. The facelift is very mild; mostly noticeable are the restyled bumpers, new chrome gills within the front flanks, a new alloy wheel design, and a refreshed grille and headlamp design. The interior is equally eye-catching, thanks to contrasting orange and black trim and Alcantara inserts. It may be a bit like spending Halloween in here, but it works well. Without the Hyper Orange package, the cabin loses its Alcantara-trimmed seats in favor of leather.
Being a snug and low roadster, taller drivers may find accommodating themselves to be a bit of a squeeze. At over six-feet tall, the Z4’s interior is constraining to me.
There are no mechanical changes from the previous BMW Z4, and it is powered by the same 3.0-litre, twin-turbo direct-injection motor. Right-foot down isn’t the only way to drive the Z4, but it’s the most fun. Acceleration from the turbo-six is excellent and had us questioning BMW’s claimed 302hp rating. It feels like a lot more. There’s an excellent linear progression of speed too, with no hint of turbo lag. Acceleration from rest takes you to 100kph in one seamless rush. It takes just 5.1 seconds (claimed) to reach 100kph. Keep the throttle pinned down for another four seconds, and you’ll be past the 140kph mark! What makes this engine very usable in everyday driving, is the really strong midrange. So driving in traffic or overtaking on the highway is just a touch of the throttle pedal away. Then there’s the way the exhaust screams, pops and crackles as the engine approaches the redline. It’s so much fun, it should be listed in the brochure as an entertainment feature.
Standard with the Z4 is the ability to flip between three-driving modes: Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus. Each mode dramatically changes the way the throttle reacts, as well as how much steering effort is required. The drive modes also mirror how compliant the suspension is and how soon the stability control intervenes during sideways fun (which can happen quickly and easily).
The electric power steering isn’t perfect, hinting at a bit of on-centre deadness, but that decreases in both - Sport and Sport Plus modes, where it feels heavy and engaging. As you sit so low to the ground and almost right on top of the rear-axle, the Z4 really does feel one-with-the-road and in-tune with the driver; it’s just easy to have fun with this convertible.
Yes, the BMW Z4 is a practical roadster. With the roof up, it is surprisingly roomy and the visibility out is good, despite the low seats. However, in hard-top mode, you realise that it’s a cramped cabin and headroom is in short supply and is quite difficult for the 6 footers to get in and out of the car, as I’d mentioned early. Quality is top-notch and all the controls are intuitively laid out. Over and above that, the Z4 now comes in the ‘Design Pure Traction’ variant, which features different interior trim options and an orange body colour exclusive to this variant. Spotting space in the cabin to keep your mobiles and other goodies leaves you quite disappointed. However, there is a storage box behind us which goes unnoticed.
However, the other disadvantage of this roadster is the poor space in the luggage compartment. BMW has managed and offered 310 litres in the boot with the roof up, and with the roof down, we get a pathetic 180 litres. Whingeing about boot space in a roadster will make me look daft, so let’s just forget about it.Verdict The ex-showroom price of the Z4 is Rs.68,90,000 for the SDrive35i and Rs. 69,90,000 for the Design Pure Traction variant. To sum it up, the Z4 is the car you need when you’ve decided to take your better half out for a dinner to that all-important restaurant, only to make getting out of the car seem like you’ve arrived in style. LOVE IT
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British sportscar veteran carmaker - Aston Martin - has revealed the Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake and Speedster models alongside the Coupe and Volante models.
Based on the Vanquish, the Speedster boasts of a smoother-flowing silhouette, double-bubble cowls at the rear and a lower-sloping windscreen, while the Vulcan-inspired tail lamps look spot-on. Under the bonnet lies a 5.9-litre V12 that makes 580bhp, and is mated to an 8-speed, Touchtronic III gearbox. The Speedster also gets body panels made from carbon-fibre, like on other Vanquish Zagato models. The Speedster should be able to manage the 0-100kph sprint in about 3.5 seconds or less. The Shooting Brake, on the other hand, is a two-seater estate (possibly the coolest), but is aimed at a being a practical Grand Tourer. The roof extension also features the signature double-bubble design with glass inlays. And there's also enough of the luxury factor when you open up the tail gate.The Shooting Brake is expected to cost around Rs 5.5 crores, while the Speedster, being the more exclusive model - is expected to cost nearly 1 million pounds. The 99 cars of each - the Coupe, Volates and Shooting Brake will be made, while just 28 Speedsters will be produced.
BMW have finally revealed their third-generation Z4 roadster, presently in concept form. Look at me!
The new signature kidney grille is similar to the ones seen on the X2 Concept and 8-Series coupe concept. It features a new mesh that was inspired by BMW roadsters of old. Upon first glance, the sharp creases flatter you; a beautiful flow of curvatures and angular forms, including the striking headlamp and tail lamps design. The new Concept also boasts of a longer wheelbase and wider tracks. Adrian Hooydonk, the head of design at BMW said: "A shorter bonnet and crisp overhangs ensure the driver sits closer to the centre of the car than in previous BMW roadsters". BMW is yet to confirm a retractable hard-top for the roadster, but for the time being, a folding fabric hood is what is presently on the cards. Detailing matters
The Concept Z4's cabin boasts of a flowing dashboard design with touches of carbon fibre and brushed aluminium. Look out for the same head-up display unit and digital instrument cluster on concept even on the production-spec model, which is scheduled for an unveiling at the Geneva Motor Show in 2018. The new Z4 will be based on the CLAR platform that already underpins a few other cars in the BMW model line-up. The platform is linked to a multi-material body structure that features a combination of aluminium, magnesium and high-strength steel. Power please!
Under the bonnet will probably reside a 2.0-litre, turbo-charged petrol engine making 194bhp, mated to an 8-speed auto 'box, as seen on the Concept Z4. Not much has been said about the performance and specs, but we also expect an 'M' version at a later stage with larger wheels and a turbocharged straight-six motor. BMW board members also considered renaming the car, but eventually stuck to Z4 when they found other options like Z5 and Z6 inappropriate. Toyota's upcoming Supra, the car that it shares its engineering programme with, will be sold exclusively as a coupe when it is revealed at a later stage.