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Z4 Coupe here within 12 months

Mmmm: Z4 M Coupe is powered by the M3's 252kW six-pack.

BMW confirms its Porsche Cayman rival, the Z4 Coupe, for Aussie sales inside a year

28 Nov 2005

BMW’S answer to Porsche’s new Cayman, the Z4 Coupe, has been approved for production and Australian sales will commence in the second half of next year.

The fixed-roof Z4, which was previewed in concept form at the Frankfurt motor show in September, will be manufactured from June at BMW’s Z4 plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

BMW Australia will make available both the regular Z4 Coupe - powered by a 195kW version of the Munich maker’s new magnesium-alloy 3.0-litre inline six – as well as the Z4 M Coupe.

Powered by the same 252kW 3.2-litre straight six that motivates the M3 coupe and convertible, the Z4 M Coupe will be the spiritual successor for BMW’s Z3-based 236kW M Coupe "munster mobile", which was discontinued after slow sales here in December 2001.

Similarly, the long-awaited M version of BMW’s roofless Z4 arrives in March, giving the Munich maker a high-performance roadster for the first time since the Z3-based M Roadster available between 1998 and 2001.

It will be part of a revised Z4 convertible range that comprises the updated 2.5 and 3.0-litre engines from the new E90 3 Series.

The garden-variety Z3 2.8 Coupe was never sold in Australia, so its Z4 3.0 Coupe successor will be an unknown quantity here in terms of both price and sales potential.

But expect the entry-level Z4 Coupe to be priced around the Z4 3.0 roadster’s sticker price of $86,000.

Meantime, both the Z4 M Roadster and M Coupe should carry a pricetag in the vicinity of the $137,900 E46 M3 coupe.

Both new M cars will also employ an M-tweaked chassis, plus the variable M differential lock.

Just as Porsche’s Cayman is closely related to the Zuffenhausen sportscar maker’s second-generation Boxster, the Z4 Coupe is based on the Z4 roadster.

The mid-engined Cayman coupe goes on sale in Australia in 217kW 3.4-litre boxer-powered S guise in February, priced at $148,500 for the manual and $155,500 for the five-speed Tiptronic S auto form.

Porsche Cars Australia currently holds about 60 firm Cayman orders, pushing the delivery wait out to about 18 months.

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