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The Z4 is a rear-wheel drive two-seater sports car produced by German manufacturer BMW over two successive generations between 2002 and 2016. The original model replaced the outgoing Z3 and debuted at the 2002 Paris Auto Show in both roadster and coupe configurations, and upon launch won the Automobile Magazine 'Design of the Year Award' thanks to its bold sharp styling. This trend continued with the 2009-released second generation model, which featured an all-new automatic retractable hardtop roof and was awarded the coveted 'Red Dot Design Award' for high quality. The Z4 received a subtle facelift in 2013 to keep it fresh against the competition, including the Porsche Boxster, Audi TT Roadster and Mercedes-Benz SLK.
Under the bonnet of the Z4, the available engines are turbocharged and exclusively petrol. The 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit is available in three states of tune, designated 18i, 20i and 28i model names, while the 35i and 35is are variations of the same 3.0-litre six-cylinder twin-turbo unit. Rear-wheel drive features across the board, and the Z4 gives a finely balanced and naturally weighted performance, particularly through corners. The overall driving experience in the Z4 is refined and relaxed, but the heat can be turned up to satisfy the sporty thrill-seekers.
The upmarket interior of the two-seater Z4 uses high-quality materials throughout and great levels of the latest technology. All models except the range-topping sDrive35iS are offered in either standard trim or M Sport, with even the most basic model generously equipped with 17-inch alloy wheels, DAB radio, climate control, Bluetooth, xenon headlamps and air-conditioning. The standout feature on the Z4 however is the elaborate folding roof- this takes 21 seconds to fold down, and has vastly enhanced the overall refinement and security of the Z4 when in place.
The BMW Z4 is stylish, refined and comes with a range of great engines. The Z4 is a popular alternative to other mainstream rivals, and offers a desirable blend of fantastic looks and high performance fun.