It has been teased, leaked and teased again, but BMW has finally – and officially – unveiled its new Z4 at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, whipping the covers off a First Edition version of its open-topped sportster.
What we’re seeing here is the M140i First Edition, which makes use of the most potent engine in the range; a turbocharged 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder engine good for 250kW (or 340hp). BMW was rumoured to be testing an even more powerful tune of that engine, that one good for 380hp (around 280kW), but at this point, 250kW looks like the power cap.
Still, the Z4 – which was jointly developed with the incoming Toyota Supra – will be no slouch. BMW is quoting a zero-100km/h sprint time of 4.6 seconds, which, combined with perfect 50:50 weight distribution and a short, snappy wheelbase, should make the Z4 M140i plenty of fun.
Other performance kit includes sports suspension and variable dampers, M Sport brakes and an electronic M Sport differential – all of which is good news, too.
The car you see here will be BMW’s hero vehicle, painted as it is in Frozen Orange (though we can’t help but think it looks red) and fitted with a silver-effect soft-top roof. There are black mirror caps, too, and 19-inch alloy wheels.
Inside, you’ll fine back leather trim, while ambient interior lighting and a top-shelf Harman Kardon stereo are optional extra on overseas models. The available features list is impressive (though what arrives standard is yet to be confirmed), with adaptive LED headlights with matrix high beams, a head-up display and, in international models at least, BMW’s Cockpit Professional connected cabin.
The Pebble Beach unveiling forms the first step of the Z4’s publicity trail, with more detailed information to be announced by BMW on September 19, before the range is revealed in full at the Paris Motor Show in October.