BMW Z4 2-2i

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Keywords: z4, e85, z roadster, z series, zseries, roadster

Description: BMW Z4 - e85 (2002 - 2008)

BMW's latest addition to its highly respected roadster pedigree, the Z4, has become more accessible with the addition of the new 2.2-litre model to the current 2.5i and 3.0i line up. Following the Z4's June UK debut, production of the third Z4 roadster variant started in October 2003, priced at £24,255 on-the road.

The familiar straight-six, 2.2-litre engine from the 3 and 5 Series ranges lies under the bonnet, powering the Z4 2.2i from rest to 62 mph in 7.7 seconds. With the engine also developing 210 Nm of torque at 3,500 rpm, the car is no slouch on twisting, mountainous roads or the highway. The car is capable of a wind-in-the-hair top speed of 140 mph.

Developing maximum power output of 170 bhp at 6,100 rpm, its engine is controlled by a drive-by-wire throttle butterfly. Engine and gearbox electronics 'know' which gear is selected and adapt the throttle butterfly response offering supreme flexibility and maximum performance whatever the circumstances.

As on the 2.5-litre model, the Z4 2.2i offers drivers a manual five-speed gearbox as standard with the option of a five-speed automatic priced at £1,350. Carried over the from the 3 Series range, the automatic gearbox includes BMW's Steptronic system with manual shift; drivers simply pull back the lever to change up and push forwards to down shift.

Using lightweight components such as an aluminium bonnet and roll bars integrated into the basic body structure, the Z4 2.2i weighs in at a svelte 1,325kgs - that's 30kgs lighter than its predecessor, the Z3 2.2i and lighter than the 2.5i and 3.0i models too.

However, the car is remarkably strong and scuttle shake is now a thing of the past. Boasting torsional rigidity of 14,500 Nm/degree, the Z4 is almost three times as stiff as its predecessor Z3 (5,600Nm/degree) an unprecedented figure for the roadster segment.

Not only is the new Z4 2.2i an exceptionally well-specified roadster, it also holds a world record - it has the fastest retracting fully automatic convertible roof on the market. One push of the button on the centre console releases latches on the windscreen surround, and the roof glides into its lowered position. In less than 10 seconds the roof is down, with the front section acting as a tonneau cover. A simple push of the button returns it to its fully closed position.

Drivers who want roof-down motoring but also need to maximise storage space will benefit from the innovative Variable Soft Top Compartment. With the roof up, an additional 20 litres of boot space is available (up from 220 to 240 litres) by collapsing the roof storage box in the boot, normally used to store the roof.

The Z4 2.2i also comes as standard with air-conditioning, single CD player, Sports seats and Sports steering wheel. Additionally, the 16" Cross Spoke alloy wheels fitted as standard on the Z4 2.2i are fitted with Run-flat tyres - which come with optional wheels across the Z4 range too. Driven carefully at 50 mph, the car can travel for up to 90 miles with one or more punctured tyres, signalling the end of road side wheel changes or the wait for breakdown assistance. In the absence of a spare wheel, the car also benefits from less weight and more boot space.

As well as high levels of standard specification, a myriad optional equipment is available for the Z4 2.2i. Five different alloy wheel options are available, from a 16" through to a Composite 18" wheel.

Creature comforts normally associated with Executive saloons are also available, with the option of Business or Professional navigation systems. The Business system is integrated into the dashboard facia, while the Professional system features an 8.8 inch (22.5cm) monitor which rises from the dashboard at the push of a button, with the screen doubling as a television where specified. All navigation systems for BMW cars now include a DVD disc that provides quick access to detailed maps covering the whole of Europe.

Drivers are able to keep in touch on the move by specifying either the Professional car telephone, or Bluetooth phone preparation. Compatible Nokia and Sony telephones can be paired with the car, where the Bluetooth wireless connection provide hands-free functionality. Additionally, Voice Control can be specified to direct a number of telephone and navigation functions without needing to remove your hands from the steering wheel.

For the ultra-hardy Z4 driver, seat heating makes roof down motoring in the winter even more comfortable.



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