Jaguar F-Type 2013 review
The brawny British sports car is back from the dead, thanks to Jaguar and its impressive new F-Type...
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BMW Z4 has one of the purest body shapes on the road whether it's used as a closed coupe, or a top-down roadster in which to appreciate the joys of cruising in Australia. It has a very long bonnet, a short tail and you sit all the way back in the cabin.
Changes to the body shape of the BMW Z4 in its midlife makeover are minimal, daytime running lights sit in rings around all four headlights, there are metal arches over the headlights and the chrome around the front blinkers has been enlarged. Reshaping of the side air extractors are part of the picture and new paint colours are on offer. Inside the cabin a bolder effect has been obtained by using piano-black in several locations, there are also mild revisions in style.
Prices of the BMW Z4 are virtually unchanged from the superseded model and represent considerable savings when the added equipment is factored in. Infotainment upgrades for the 2014 model year include the installation of the BMW Professional satellite navigation system in all models.
BMW Australia is continuing its strategy of bundling items that had proven popular as individual features into what it calls 'Lines'. The Design Pure Balance Line has sport seats, wood trim and leather trim. The M Sport Package has 18-inch alloys, sports seats, aluminium and carbon fibre interior trim, a leather steering wheel, M sport suspension, and an aerodynamics package.
BMW's Z4 Design Pure Traction Line is available across the range. It features sports seats, Alcantara/leather upholstery, interior trim finishers in 'metal weave' design and an individual roof-liner in Anthracite trim.
Engines are all turbocharged-petrol units as BMW Australia couldn't see there being a market for turbo-diesel units on our market. There's a 2.0-litre four-cylinder in two stages of tune, giving either 135 kW or 180 kW, mated to an all-new eight speed automatic transmission. Sitting above those is a 3.0-litre straight-six with 250 kW, with gearshifting via a sports unit - a dual-clutch seven-speed automatic.
During our road testing at the new Z4's launch in far north Queensland a couple of months back we fell in love with the 180 kW four-cylinder engine. It provides almost as much performance as the six-cylinder and its lighter weight adds to the already good agility of the Z4 when cornering hard. Our week's retest on the Gold Coast in day-to-day driving confirmed that this is our powertrain of choice.
You wouldn't expect a high-performance roadster with a 180 kilowatt engine to have fuel consumption as low as 5.9 litres per hundred kilometres, but that's the number we had during the stages of testing at 110 to 120 on motorways. That's amazing efficiency and shows why BMW continues to sit at, or near the top, when global 'engine of the year' awards are handed out. In everyday driving in the suburbs and when pushing hard in the country the consumption was generally in the eight to ten litres per 100 km range, which is still impressive in a sports machine like this.
It's no surprise that the BMW Z4 continues to provide excitement. It has near-perfect chassis balance, provides huge levels of grip in corners and answers virtually instantly to steering and throttle inputs from the driver. Anyone who doesn't come away from a drive in a Z4 on challenging roads with a big smile on their face hasn't been trying hard enough.
There's a lot of tyre noise on coarse-chip bitumen as found on many Australian roads, at times conversation can be difficult even when the roof is closed. Boot space is quite limited when the roof is folded down and life is further complicated by the fact the opening is small.
The sheer joy of driving continues to be a factor in all BMWs and nowhere is this felt more than in this fun roadster.
|Z4 Sdrive 20I||2.0L, PULP, 8 SP AUTO||$25,200 – 33,440||2013 BMW Z Models 2013 Z4 Sdrive 20I Pricing and Specs|
|Z4 Sdrive 35IS||3.0L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO||$38,900 – 49,720||2013 BMW Z Models 2013 Z4 Sdrive 35IS Pricing and Specs|
|Z4 Sdrive 28I||2.0L, PULP, 8 SP AUTO||$29,500 – 38,610||2013 BMW Z Models 2013 Z4 Sdrive 28I Pricing and Specs|
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