You are here: Home / Car Reviews / BMW / Z4 / 2004 BMW Z4 Roadster

2004 BMW Z4 Roadster

New Car Profile of the 2004 BMW Z-Series Roadster

Description: Roadster
Base MSRP Range: Z-4: $33,600-$40,900
Invoice Price Range: Z-4: $30,735-$37,380

BMW's two-seat roadster, produced at a BMW plant in South Carolina, bears contorted sheetmetal shaped into an intricate series of twists and curves in crisscrossed lines that amount to separate character marks scored across the flanks. A bulging trunk deck is defined by an angular ridge ringing sides and rear, with unusual shapes for taillamps inset into the thick slab bumper.

Compared to the roly-poly roundness of Z3 first-generation issues, the angular styling for Z4 looks edgy and quick. It can be quick to act too, due to two different engine options that enthuse the roadster. Z4 2.5i gets the BMW 2.5-liter in-line-six tuned to 184 hp. Z4 3.0i packs a larger straight-six at 3.0 liters with dual overhead cams and BMW's infinitely variable valve timing system. Output reaches 225 hp. A Getrag Type B+ five-speed manual transmission comes with the 2.5-liter plant, while the heavy-duty ZF Type H six-speed manual links to the 3.0-liter version.

Both offer optionally a ZF automatic articulated through five forward gears with BMW's Steptronic mode. Further, BMW's six-speed SMG is available with either engine and it's rigged with one automatic and two manual shift programs. In manual mode, you can shift the SMG by tapping finger paddles on the steering wheel or the shifter lever. Passive standard safety systems reach from frontal and side-impact air bags to BMW's knee protection system (KPS). The cockpit for two stocks bolstered bucket seats, a three-spoke steering wheel and twin binnacles on the dash housing an analog speedometer and tachometer.

Z4's soft top contains a glass rear window and heat element. It folds back quickly by manual means, with the forward panel of the lid covering pleated parts and fitting flush against the body to eliminate the need for a tonneau. Power motivation to fold the top automatically is optional and works in 13 seconds flat. For 2004, rain-sensing windshield wipers become a standard feature.