2014 BMW Z4
By Laura Burstein
On Sale: Spring 2013
Expected Pricing: $44,000-$64,000
The BMW Z4, BMW's sporty roadster, gets a refresh and a new variant just in time for spring convertible weather. For 2014, the front end gets revised headlights with new LED accent lights, along with other minor changes to the front fascia. New wheel choices and colors also debut, including a Valencia Orange metallic paint.
Perhaps most significant is the introduction of a new entry-level model, the 2014 BMW Z4 sDrive 18i. It uses a less-powerful version of the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder found in the Z4 sDrive 28i. And sadly, though the model is new, BMW keeps the same awkward naming structure. This engine is already used on European models as well as in the new 320i sedan, which debuted for the U.S. market alongside the new 2014 Z4 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
The Z4 sDrive18i is no track star; it's rated at 156 horsepower and goes 0-60 mph in an uninspiring 7.9 seconds. The 2.0-liter engine can be mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox or an 8-speed automatic.
The other 2014 Z4 models are unchanged underneath: The Z4 sDrive28i features a more powerful version of the 2.0-liter four cylinder that makes 240 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. Its 0-60 mph acceleration performance is much more impressive at 5.5 seconds with the 6-speed manual, and only 0.1 second slower with the automatic. Now we're talking.
The BMW Z4 sDrive35i continues to use the 3.0-liter inline-6, good for 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque with a 0-60 mph time of 5.0 seconds with the optional 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, or 5.1 seconds with the 6-speed manual. Very quick, indeed.
A line-topping Z4 sDrive35is uses a more powerful version of the 3.0-liter inline-6, with 335 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque, and a 0-60 mph time of just 4.8 seconds.
Standard features on all 2014 BMW Z4 models include automatic climate control, an 11-speaker audio system, soft-close automatic trunk lid and HID headlights. Options include several packages, as well as a 14-speaker premium sound system and navigation.
The 2014 BMW Z4 is set to arrive in dealer showrooms Spring 2013. Pricing hasn't been announced on the new Z4 sDrive18is, but the new 320i starts at $4,000 less than the 328i, so we're estimating the two Z4 models will have a similar price difference. That puts the starting price for the Z4 line at about $44,000.