The upcoming Z5 will be awesome, but show some some love to the darling Z4 before it bows out.
The first generation BMW Z4 was launched back in 2002 and compared to its Z3 predecessor, was a bit bigger and featured edgier styling. The second-gen Z4 came out in 2009 and took on a more conventional look, but that wasn't at all a bad thing. It also ditched the soft top for a folding hard top, thus making the Z4 a coupe and roadster all in one. We recently snagged some time with a 2016 BMW Z4, one of the last built, and we walked away impressed.
Yes, we know the Z4, at least this generation, never quite managed to become a Porsche Boxster fighter. Perhaps its closest competitor is the Mercedes SLC. Regardless, BMW still fitted the Z4 with a choice of two engines, and ours car came with the optional twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline-six with 300 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque.
Power is sent to the rear wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. You could spend less for the base turbo 2.0-liter inline-four, but this inline-six is such a sweetheart of an engine. Our advice: pay a bit more. Performance is also decent, with a 0-60 mph time of five seconds, but fuel economy only came to a combined 20 mpg. Now that the Z4 is being retired, what can we expect from its eventual Z5 successor? Will that car, which was jointly developed with Toyota, become the 718 Boxster fighter BMW doesn't have at the moment? Time will tell, but we suspect that it will. Special thanks to Niello BMW-Sacramento for letting us film the car.