It was inevitable that the quest to make the BMW Z4 more comfortable would also make it bigger. It is typically around 180kg heavier than the previous generation Z4, and it has grown by 148mm in length and 9mm in width. Despite the extra weight, the Z4 maintains its 50/50 weight balance and improves upon its predecessor’s green credentials.

One of the most significant styling features that distinguish the new Z4 from its predecessor is the indented ‘V’ set into the bonnet, which runs like a ribbon snagged on the badge. Although it is difficult to make it out in pictures, the area around the side repeater incorporates a number of complex contours and a deep inset.  In its position, if not design, this detail references BMW’s earlier Z3 and 507.

Nic Cackett

Nic Cackett

Road tester
Gloss black finish helps to make the A-pillars appear thinner than they are, giving the Z4 a sleeker, less top-heavy appearance

A gloss black finish helps to make the A-pillars appear thinner than they are, giving the Z4 a sleeker, less top-heavy appearance. Three-quarter forward visibility is not a problem. 

Three-quarter rear windows help improve refinement when the roof is down and the windows up. They also make the Z4 look more coupé-like with the roof up. However, the fixed-position aerial looks out of place on such a modern design.

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The use of LED technology in front and rear lights is nothing new, but it’s worth noting that BMW produces some of the most interesting light designs in the business - not overly glitzy, but with great attention to detail. The odd lip at the outside edge is to improve aerodynamics.

The pronounced lip spoiler incorporated into the bootlid is another detail that’s difficult to pick out in photos. Its proportions are finely judged and the edges flow neatly into the rear lights. A small point, but the Z4 badge looks as though it’s slightly too large and sited a little too high on the boot. 

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