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Z4 - E89 (2008 - ...) - The Retractable Hardtop

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Article Index
Z4 - E89 (2008 - ...)
Design and Technology
Design: Modern, Emotional, Authentic
The Retractable Hardtop
Drivetrain: Straight-Six in the Roadster
Body and Safety
Equipment: Driving Pleasure All the Way
Flexible Production
All Pages

The Retractable Hardtop: High-Tech, Convenient, Innovative.
- Two-piece roof in lightweight aluminium shell construction opening and closing fully automatically in 20 seconds.
- Ideal combination of classic and modern roadster values.
- Optimised feeling of space, perfect all-round visibility, maximum comfort.

The new BMW Z4 conveys the roadster myth to a modern and up-to-date vehicle concept most appropriate for today’s world. BMW’s new two-seater stands for passion, dynamism, and pure driving pleasure. And it combines its sporting potential with supreme driving comfort and uncompromising premium quality.
The new, fully retractable hardtop on the BMW Roadster enhances all these features in a truly ideal manner, blending harmoniously and authentically into the proportions so typical of a roadster.
When open, the lightweight roof made up of aluminium shells folds smoothly, discreetly and in compact dimensions into the low-slung rear end, maintaining the classic line and characteristic silhouette of a roadster. When closed, in turn, the hardtop forms a flowing roofline accentuating the elegant look of the new BMW Z4.
A particularly outstanding feature is the sound absorption offered by the extra-strong construction absolutely convincing through its acoustic and aerodynamic qualities. Precisely this is why the new BMW Z4 Roadster, in terms of driving comfort, comes right at the top in the segment of outstanding roadsters built by the world’s premium manufacturers.
Within a matter of seconds, the car transforms smoothly from a coupé into a convertible and vice versa, the two-piece hardtop folding into the luggage compartment fully automatically and under electrohydraulic power within a mere 20 seconds, closing again just as quickly and smoothly.

Bright roof lining, optimised all-round visibility.
The high quality of the hardtop is reflected within the interior by the bright and perfectly finished roof lining. Large windows give the hardtop a light and almost filigree look, offering the occupants not only a bright and exclusive ambience, but also an open feeling of space and optimum all-round visibility.
Compared with the former model, the side windows are 40, the open visibility through the rear window 52 per cent larger, with all-round visibility up 14 per cent. A further advantage is that the four side windows of the new BMW Roadster may be lowered individually as required.


Maximum convenience in opening and closing the hardtop.
The process of opening and closing the new hardtop offers unparalleled comfort and uncompromising function. The two elements of the roof system are lifted fully automatically in one flowing process, swivelled to the rear and stowed in compact arrangement above one another in the roof compartment.
To take up the roof elements, the rear lid of the roadster serving as the roof compartment cover lifts up smoothly and quietly to the rear. Once the roof has been completely opened – or closed – and the hardtop fastened in place, the luggage compartment lid may be opened again the usual way.
The roof elements are moved to and fro by an electrohydraulic system with the central hydraulic unit integrated in a multifunction sump in the floor of the luggage compartment.
The retractable roof is controlled by a switch in the centre console and may also be opened conveniently by remote control. In this case the driver is required to press down the opening switch or, respectively, the remote control button permanently during the entire opening process. To interrupt the opening process, in turn, all he has to do is let go of the button at any time, then pressing the button on the remote control or in the centre console to continue the entire process as required.
Enhanced remote control with Comfort Access is available as an option, enabling the user to control the closing process also from a distance. To avoid inadvertent operation of the closing process, however, the signal for closing the roof is not transmitted beyond a distance of four metres from the car.
Comfort Access serves additionally to conveniently load and unload the luggage compartment with the roof open. In order to enhance access to the boot in this case, the open hardtop is moved to an interim position by Comfort Access, facilitating the removal of large objects such as golf bags.

Storage concept setting a new standard in the premium class.
The BMW Z4 Roadster offers an excellent driving experience also on long distances, with the roof and luggage compartment separated from one another by a variable cover. The flexible luggage compartment concept even enables the driver and front passenger to use the roof compartment whenever necessary in order to stow their luggage: With the roof closed, the variable cover between the two compartments simply lifts up and swivels away for easy access, increasing luggage space in the new BMW Z4 from 180 litres or 6.3 cubic feet with the roof open to a maximum of 310 litres or 10.9 cubic feet with the roof closed. Compared with the former model, this increases the capacity of the luggage compartment by 50 litres or 1.75 cu ft, with the load increasing by 30 kg or 66 lb to a maximum of 330 kg (728 lb).
Once the lid has been further lowered, the new BMW Z4 may really convert into an open-air roadster. The luggage compartment lid comes with a soft close function closing the lid smoothly, automatically and completely after loading and unloading. As an option there is also a Storage Package as well as a large through-loading to the passenger compartment even including a transport bag.
The superior functional qualities of the luggage compartment are however not so much a result of sheer volume, but rather of the possibility to conveniently stow all kinds of standard items of luggage. Indeed, the storage concept of the new BMW Z4 sets the standard even among premium manufacturers also in this discipline.
Even with the hardtop open, there is enough space in the luggage compartment for a medium-sized hard-shell suitcase. And with the help of the optional through-loading to the passenger compartment, the driver and passenger are even able to stow a 46-inch full-size golf bag.
With the roof closed, in turn, the compartment accommodates up to four crates of beverages or – again using the through-loading option – two 46-inch golf bags without the slightest problem.
This high standard of practical value as well as everyday motoring benefits and variability are also borne out by a wide range of useful and practical details such as the wide crosswise storage space within the interior behind the seats. Items stored there may furthermore be secured in position by means of a partition net.


Superior driving comfort in all kinds of weather.
Given the high-quality sound absorption on the hardtop, the new BMW Z4 is fully suitable for year-round use. So as soon as summer temperatures and winter sunshine are no longer sufficient for driving in the open air, BMW’s new two-seater once again offers all its qualities as a genuine coupe, particularly as the glass rear window in the hardtop may be heated electrically.
Even changing weather need not spoil driving pleasure in the BMW Z4, with the roof closing fully automatically within just 20 seconds – and then opening again just as quickly after a shower.
In developing the roof’s kinematics, BMW’s engineers also considered the ideal way to drain rainwater from the roof, with water management fully integrated into the roof structure by a special drainage system taking up residual drops of water while the roof is moving and allowing any remaining drops to evaporate above the rear-end air vents.
This efficiently prevents any formation of moisture in the interior or luggage compartment, once again allowing the driver of a BMW Z4 to respond immediately as soon as even brief spells of sunshine allow a short spree of driving in the open air.

Last Updated on Monday, 12 April 2010 14:38  

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