Sunny thoughts in gloomy winter
History proves that a trip to Detroit, home to the annual North American International Auto Show each January, is a daunting task for those of us who reside in Southern California. This particular beat often results in chapped blue lips, numb fingers, and snow-speckled overcoats. But, despite temperatures in the 30s and 40s, things were different in the Motor City for this year’s show, as the winds were calm and one could actually cross the street without suffering frostbite. Maybe the meteorological gods were influenced by the presence of the redesigned 2006 BMW Z4 Roadster, a drop-top two-seater that makes even Mother Nature yearn for warm summer days. Though the Z4 M Roadster was the highlight of BMW’s press conference, there was quick reference to the regular Z4, which offers tweaked styling and updated powertrains for the 2006 model year. With a quick look, observers will notice the revised front end with its relocated fog lights and reshaped air inlet, whereas the tail is now accented by new lenses and a reworked bumper that gives the rear of the 2006 BMW Z4 Roadster a flatter look. Two models are available, the 3.0i and the 3.0si, with the latter getting standard bi-xenon headlights and both being available with a power top. A manual top with a heated rear glass window is standard. At the heart of the 2006 Z4 are two new 3.0-liter, inline six-cylinder engines mated to a six-speed manual transmission (a six-speed automatic is optional). With 3.0i badging, the Z4 offers 215 horsepower and 185 lb.-ft. of torque, and 3.0si models boast 255 horsepower and 220 lb.-ft. of twist. Both feature BMW’s Valvetronic variable valve system technology, and are designed to meet ULEV-II emissions standards. No word on pricing yet, but the 2006 BMW Z4 Roadster should start hitting dealer lots this spring.
Photos courtesy of BMW