BMW Z4 E85 Roadster

BMW’s Z4 E85 is a 2-door Roadster which was designed and manufactured by BMW from 2002 through to 2008. The Z4 was the first generation that was introduced at the Paris Auto Show in 2002 that went on sale late that same year. Although the car is very compact, it is a larger and completely redesigned successor to the Z3 range of cars. To begin with, the car was only made available as a roadster that came fitted with a 2.5 litre or 3.0 litre inline 6-cylinder engine, but was also produced for European markets with a 2.0 litre motor, from 2005–2008 and a 2.2 litre from 2003–2005.

The Z4's design addressed many criticisms of the preceding Z3 as the Z4 is physically larger in size and it also was produced with a significantly stiffer chassis together with a similar strut type front suspension as its predecessor the Z3’s. BMW’s designers ensured that the Z4 would have the latest rear suspension and discarded the old E30 based suspension set up found on the Z3 series. The rear suspension is different from the Z3 semi-trailing arm suspension type and the Z4 was fitted with an all new modern multi-link suspension system.

Lightweight materials were incorporated into the Z4’s design and production to offset the increased weight over the smaller Z3 series of cars. The vehicle was fitted with an aluminum hard top hood and various other suspension components. The roof frame was constructed from magnesium. Run flat tyres replaced tubeless tyres which removed the need for a spare wheel allowing for a larger boot with more space.

The all-aluminum 6-cylinder engine was a sensation which improved the cars corner speed and braking characteristics considerably. The engine was controlled by a double VANOS variable valve timing set up with a throttle by wire intake manifold and throttle body butterfly. Four-wheel disc brakes were mandatory in design including electronic stability control, ABS brakes and traction control were all incorporated. A motorsports package added stiffer, lower suspension and larger wheels with low profile tyres. An SMG transmission was offered in addition to the usual manual and automatic transmission.

In 2005 BMW unveiled the coupe version of the Z4 with the code E86, which was denoted to it. The coupé became available at the New York auto Show in April 2006 of which 17,094 Z4 and Z4M coupes were manufactured.

The M Coupé shares the 3.2 litre inline-6 cylinder engine as the M Roadster. The BMW E86 Coupé features a fixed hard-top roof which yields additional torsional rigidity which improves enhanced driving characteristics such as braking and corner speed and general handling of the car. A 'double bubble' contoured roof which is aerodynamically improved allowing more headroom space than the roadster. The car is also fitted with an integrated rear spoiler shaped to deliver considerable down force which aids the rear axle.

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