The BMW Z4 is a compact convertible with seating for two passengers. It was launched in 2002 as a follow-up to the original Z3 convertible. Now in its second-generation, the Z4 was last completely redesigned for 2009. Unlike its predecessor, it debuted with a folding hardtop convertible roof. New for 2011 is a flagship performance model called the sDrive35is, which is targeted at driving enthusiasts.
The Z4 is sold in three trim levels: sDrive30i, sDrive35i, and sDrive35is. All models arrive with a long list of standard equipment, including full power accessories, dual-zone climate control, alloy wheels, and vinyl upholstery. Like most BMW models, the Z4 is offered with several equipment packages, including the Cold Weather Package, Sport Package, Premium Package, Premium Sound Package, and the M Sport Package. These add equipment such as leather upholstery, larger alloy wheels, sport-tuned suspension, upgraded audio, and more. Navigation is a stand-alone option. The new sDrive35is has exclusive wheels, a premium interior, and other performance-enhancing equipment.
The BMW Z4 is offered with three engine choices. The standard powerplant is a 3.0-liter, six-cylinder engine that is rated at 255 horsepower. The sDrive35i is fitted with a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter, six-cylinder engine rated at 300 horsepower, while the sDrive35is features a derivative of that engine tuned to 335 horsepower. A six-speed manual is standard on all but the sDrive35is models. A six-speed automatic is optional on the base model, while a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic is optional on the sDrive35i and standard on the sDrive35is. All Z4 models are rear-wheel drive. The EPA rates the fuel economy of the 2011 BMW Z4 between 17 mpg city and 28 mpg highway, depending on powertrain.
The 2011 BMW Z4 sDrive30i starts with a base price of about $48,000 and tops out with the Z4 sDrive35is, which starts around $63,000.