Well, the first thing I can say about the 2019 BMW Z4 Roadster is that it is much better looking than the one it replaces. Seriously, I don’t know what on Earth BMW has to do to get their design mojo back, but, A) they need to, and, B) they haven’t yet. At least not fully.
The next thing I thought was, “Boy, it looks a lot like the current Fiat 124 Spider that’s based on the Miata.” Better not say that in front of any BMW employees. Probably lead to my Arsch getreten werden.
Which it shouldn’t, since both the Miata and the 124 are fantastic little sports cars. And I’m sure the latest Z4 will be fantastic as well. I mean, come on, this is a German car company we’re talking about here. The other contributing factor to the 2019 BMW Z4 Roadster’s potential greatness is that, under the skin, it’s a – gasp! – Toyota Supra.
The latest Z4 was developed in cooperation with the Japanese auto giant, the fruits of that leading to both the Z4 and the recently-released Supra. Ergo, we’ll have some commonality of parts, and the two minds are better than one philosophy leading to the summation of two very fun vehicles.
Related: The fine line between Toyota and BMW sports cars.
Power & Performance
The 2019 BMW Z4 sDrive30i is propelled by a new, 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbocharged engine. The engine has a new High Precision Injection system, 255 horsepower, and nearly 300 lb-ft. of torque. 60 mph comes up in 5.2 seconds. Nett! Life gets even better with the Z4 M40i Roadster, thanks to a 3.0-liter in-line six-banger offering a 47 horsepower escalation over its predecessor. By comparison, the sDrive M40i makes a whomping 382 horsepower with its turbocharged in-line six engine.
Since this is a roadster, both variants are rear-wheel drive naturally.
BMW added a water-cooled exhaust manifold that’s integrated into the cylinder head, along with a quicker-spooling turbocharger and direct injection. Yeah, I know, water cooling the manifold sounds like an expensive stress point, but we’ll let the second and third owners worry about that. And, with 382 horsepower and 369 lb-ft. of torque living under the hood, you’ll hit 60 in 3.9 seconds. Super nett!
Transmission & Chassis Tech
Both receive an eight-speed Steptronic Sport box with Launch Control and shift paddles on the steering wheel. There’s a wider ratio spread with shorter ratios in the lower gears for stronger acceleration.
The chassis has a perfect 50:50 weight distribution, with a double-joint spring strut suspension up front and a new five-link suspension out back. The front suspension’s sub frame and control arm mounting points are extremely rigid for more precise cornering, according to BMW. Aluminum control arms and swivel bearings further reduce weight. The rear suspension also uses a lightweight aluminum and steel design.
Added to all this are (by now usual) the computer-controlled gizmos that might turn all of us into Sebastian Vettel (as if!): Dynamic Stability Control, Anti-lock Braking System, Dynamic Traction Control, Cornering Brake Control, and Dynamic Brake Control.With 382 horsepower and 369 lb-ft. of torque living under the hood, you'll hit 60 in 3.9 seconds. Click To Tweet
Pricing & Availability
And sure, both of the upcoming Z4s have lots of navigation and infotainment features, and all that high-tech glop. But if you really care about stuff like that, this (probably) won’t be the car for you. Screw stuff like that! Drop the top, pull down your hat, and stand on it Stroker Ace! This is a sports car. Go out and be a sport.
How much? Well, the 2019 BMW Z4 Roadster starts at $49,700 for the sDrive30i, and $63,700 for the sDrive M40i.
Weit draußen, Mann!
Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He is the author of Bricks & Bones: The Endearing Legacy and Nitty-Gritty Phenomenon of The Indy 500, available in paperback or Kindle format. Follow his work on Twitter: @TonyBorroz
2019 BMW Z4 Roadster Gallery
Photos & Source: BMW of North America, LLC.