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Melbourne show: BMW prices new Z4

Roof raiser: BMW Z4 gets a folding hardtop this time, negating the need for a Z4 coupe.

Pricier new BMW Z4 line-up revealed in new model blitz

27 Feb 2009

BMW seized the opportunity, in the absence of its arch-rival Mercedes-Benz, to be the largest exhibitor by floor space at today’s 2009 Melbourne motor show opening.

The Bavarian brand’s bevy of new model reveals was led by the more expensive new Z4 Roadster range, which made its Australian debut alongside upcoming 330d and 120d turbo-diesel models (pricing for which was also revealed), the redesigned 7 Series flagship and BMW’s sleek M1 Homage concept.

Available like its 3 Series Convertible sibling with a two-piece retractable hard-top for the first time, negating the need for a Z4 Coupe successor, the redesigned Z4 coupe-convertible brings three Euro V emissions-compliant engines fitted to three variants that depart even further from BMW’s once-logical model naming convention.

On sale in Australia from May following its Detroit motor show unveiling last month, the new Z4 two-seater line-up opens with the entry-level 150kW/250Nm 2.5-litre Z4 sDrive23i manual, priced at $86,200.

While that is $8000 up on the smaller, more powerful Z4 2.5si it replaces ($78,200) and well up on Audi’s cheapest soft-top TT Roadster (the $79,500 2.0 TFSI S-tronic), it is $2320 less than the Mercedes-Benz SLK200K ($88,520) and almost $35,000 less than next month’s facelifted Porsche Boxster soft-top ($113,000).

The mid-range Z4 sDrive30i, powered a less powerful 190kW/310Nm 3.0-litre petrol six, will cost $98,100 – $6700 more than the outgoing Z4 3.0si ($91,400) and $2673 more than the TT Roadster 3.2 quattro auto ($95,427).

Top of the new Z4 tree will be the sDrive35i, powered for the first time by BMW’s 225kW/400Nm 3.0-litre twin-turbo direct petrol injection six and priced at $116,900 as a manual.

14 center image From top: M1 concept, 7 Series, 330d, and bottom 120d.

That’s over $17,000 more than the 200kW turbo-four TT S Roadster ($99,452, with the 225kW-plus TT RS yet to come), but just under the 224kW SLK350 V6 ($115,637), not to mention the upgraded 228kW 3.4-litre Boxster S ($140,400).

At this stage BMW has no encore for the former, circa-$130,000 Z4 M roadster or coupe, nor an answer for the $170K-plus SLK55 AMG.

A version of the M3’s seven-speed twin-clutch auto will be a Z4 35i option, in which guise the flagship Z4 offers a claimed 0-100km/h pace of 5.1 seconds and returns 9.4L/100km average fuel consumption, while a conventional six-speed auto will be available for other variants.

Further options will include 10mm-lower BMW Adaptive M suspension and Ivory ‘Nappa’ interior leather (as fitted to the ‘Space Grey’ show car), plus extended ‘Kansas’ leather, alloy wheel sizes up to 19-inch, iDrive, sports/powered seats, adaptive headlights, TV function and Professional Navigation.

The German-built MkII Z4’s standard equipment list will include Kansas leather with ‘BMW SunReflective Technology’, cruise control with brake function, front/rear parking sensors, an electromechanical parking brake, an electronic differential lock, Dynamic Driving Control, bi-Xenon headlights, heated seats, through-loading to the 310-litre boot (180 litres with the roof down), Bluetooth connectivity, engine stop/start button, auxiliary audio jack and USB interface.

Alongside the Z4 in Melbourne were the diesel-powered 120d hatch and 330d sedan, both of which have now been confirmed for an Australian release in June, priced at $46,790 and $87,250 respectively – with both models taking advantage of the higher luxury car tax threshold for ‘green’ vehicles.

The 330d will join BMW’s facelifted 3 Series sedan range, which was released on November 22 and comprises the 320d ($57,500). It slots in between the 325i ($75,900) and 335i ($107,300), and will be a direct rival for Audi’s A4 3.0 TDI quattro sedan ($86,056) and the Mercedes-Benz C320 CDI sedan ($95,956).

Available only with a six-speed automatic transmission, BMW’s first 3 Series performance diesel will be powered by a new-generation all-alloy 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder turbo-diesel engine that in ‘high-output’ guise produces 180kW at 4000rpm and 520Nm of torque between 1750 and 3000rpm.

Said to mix V8 performance with four-cylinder economy, the 330d returns average fuel consumption of 6.8L/100km (with CO2 emissions of 180g/100km), yet can sprint to 100km/h in a claimed 6.2 seconds and a (limited) top speed of 250km/h.

Another frugal BMW to arrive mid-year will be the five-door 120d manual, which in fact will be BMW’s most fuel-efficient model – not counting the Mini Cooper D, which returns 3.9L/100km and will be touted as Australia’s most fuel-efficient car when it also arrives in June.

Australia’s first BMW model to combine a six-speed manual transmission with the company’s third-generation 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel (which at 130kW/350Nm is more powerful than the 120d, 320d, 520d and X3 2.0d autos), the 120d returns 4.8L/100km and CO2 emissions of 128g/km.

The 120d manual is $1210 cheaper than the 120d auto, with which it will share its specification level, but more significantly more expensive than its most direct ‘premium compact green’ rivals in the manual-only five-door Audi A3 1.9 TDIe ($38,900) and Mercedes-Benz A180 CDI ($39,900).

However, as BMW points out, with a claimed 0-100km/h sprint time of 7.6 seconds, the 120d manual is significantly quicker than both the 80kW/250Nm A-class (10.8 seconds, 5.2L/100km, 137g/km) and 77kW/250Nm A3, which takes a whole 11.7 seconds to hit 100km/h but returns just 4.5L/100km and 119g/km.

The Z4, 330d and 120d appeared at Melbourne alongside BMW’s striking M1 Homage, the fifth-generation 7 Series limousine (on sale from April 20) and last month’s twin-turbo V8 X6 xDrive50i SUV.

They were presented in a farewell speech by former BMW Australia managing director Guenther Seemann, who this month started in his new role as regional director for Asia, Oceania and South Africa and noted that in his two-year tenure at Mulgrave the Munich maker almost doubled the sales lead over its most direct rival (Mercedes-Benz), from around 1700 in 2006 to almost 3000 in 2008.

Read more:

BMW’s Melbourne show-stopper

First drive: BMW’s new flagship sails into Australia

First look: BMW Z4 goes coupe-convertible

BMW Oz green-lights 330d

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