BMW Z4 now standard with auto

words - Ken Gratton
Upgraded sports car reflects buyer preference and adds value, but manual remains available

BMW’s new model year Z4 is now officially on sale in Australia. As was the case with the 3 Series range earlier this week, the sports car's price and equipment levels have been revised to offer improved value to buyers.

The major change is the move to the ZF eight-speed automatic transmission as standard for four-cylinder models, accounting for a cost saving in itself of $3500 off the purchase price. It's one of a number of improvements that result in a claimed nett gain in the vicinity of $7000 for buyers of the Z4 sDrive20i model – despite a price increase of $2400 to $79,900.

The sDrive28i variant has dropped slightly in price from $90,000 to $89,900, but also picks up the ZF auto box as standard. BMW claims the overall value gained (with ZF included) is $9000. The six-speed manual transmission, which sells in much lower numbers than the automatic, is still available as a no-cost option.

With no changes to engine power and torque, the four-cylinder Z4 reaches 100km/h in a fraction less time (0.2 seconds for both models) than the previous model with the default manual transmission. Times for the auto-equipped cars are now 6.9 seconds (sDrive20i) and 5.5 seconds (sDrive28i).

At the top of the range, the Z4 sDrive35is is now priced at $119,545 – $450 less than before, but with $3000 worth of extra value. The flagship continues with the twin-turbocharger six-cylinder engine and its seven-speed dual-clutch transmission as the only drivetrain option, but now scores Adaptive M Suspension as standard and migrates from 18-inch alloy wheels to 19-inch units.

Navigation system Professional is now standard across the range and offers internet connectivity, Bluetooth audio streaming and voice control, bundled together. Key features include high-resolution 8.8-inch colour display, DVD drive, bookmarks, 3D map, arrow display and bird's-eye view.

The Z4 sDrive20i can be identified by LED rings around the bi-xenon headlights, accent lights with metal inserts over the headlights and tapering side gills in the front quarter panels. A new design of 18-inch alloy wheel sets the Z4 sDrive28i apart from its lower-grade sibling (with 17-inch alloys) and its predecessor.  

Inside, high-gloss black trim complements the centre fascia air vents and the iDrive controller. BMW has also added another 'character' package to the Z4's option list. Joining the Design Pure Balance and M Sport packages is the Design Pure Traction pack.

Priced at $2000 for the sDrive20i and $1100 for the sDrive28i and sDrive35is, the new pack features Alcantara/leather upholstery combination for seats, armrests, doors and dashboard; sports seats; decorative trim in 'metal weave' style and an Anthracite headlining.

"The BMW Z4 has always been acknowledged as a design icon with street credibility – the styling is drop-dead gorgeous and the car has proven on-road credentials," said BMW Australia MD Phil Horton.

"It's hard to improve on perfection, but with additional features and better value, the BMW Z4 now becomes an even more attractive proposition."

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Published : Friday, 23 August 2013
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