BMW Z3/Z4: 1993-2016.
Soon gone, but never forgotten!
As the last few Z4s are sold to customers, we mark the end of the line for the plucky and stylish BMW Z roadster. It ceased production in August.
The BMW Z3/Z4 used to be a huge tentpole for the brand. In the 1990s the Z3's arrival in stores was the most hotly anticipated arrival in the marque's history.
A big lead time between when the Goldeneye Bond film gave us the first look at the car helped build excitement. The fact that it would be made stateside was also huge news. And for us geekier types, the Z3 meant a US roadster in the vane of the limited-production BMW Technik Z1 of the late 1980s -- a car we craved from afar since seeing its doors retract into the sill on a trip to Germany as a kid.
The Z3's fortunes helped the brand achieve serious credibility as a Mercedes rival for the first time by the late 1990s. Its success at lifting the brand's overall appear was remarkable.
The Z4 of late, however, suffered a 90-percent fall in sales once production moved home to Germany around 2002. Today, the latest model of the Z4 roadster is rarer than Porsche Boxsters on US roads. Granted, it is priced about the same as the Porsche, too. For a vehicle that is clearly less special?
That was the preamble.
On to the drive!How is the Z4 on the road? Hilarious fun.
For 2016, the M Sport Z4 has adaptive dampers than smooooooth out its previous buckboard ride. And the car finally has the race-ready turbo engine to make it an M car in everything but name.
On throttle, the Z4 sDrive35i is hilarious fun. Its upshifts and sprint manners are full of shouty bellow, popping exhaust and zingy, pingy heaven on a straight six.
And finally: a hardtop that barely takes more space than the softtop when folded!
Indeed, this last Z4 is one of the best.
A fitting sendoff: here are 55 gorgeous photos of the Z4 in Black Sapphire, basking in the watrm sunset of South Carolina. Near where it was born, a legend departs.
Yes! There is a future in the BMW range for Z roadsters. A Z2 is most likely to return the car it its original pricepoint and sales glory.