Renewal or Revolting: 2019 BMW Z4

Watch the Z-series from BMW, which goes all the way back to 1989 with the Z1, and you'll see a few common design themes in the entire line-up. But you will see a more obvious design line if you only look at the Z3 and the last two Z4's. The 2019 BMW Z4 deviates a bit from that line, because it heralds a new design language that sets itself apart from its predecessors and even other modern BMWs. But is the roadster of the brand on the right track with this new look? Read on and decide for yourself.

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When the production 2019 BMW Z4 debuted this week in Monterey, we only saw it in the M40i First Edition specification. We will not see the bottom 30i trim until closer to the spring of 2019 debut, but we do not imagine that too much will change in style. The new Z4 remains fairly faithful to the concept introduced on Pebble Beach last year, while it still held a stacked headlamber arrangement instead of the side-by-side layout that can be seen on virtually every other BMW. The characteristic double kidney grids of the brand are retained, but instead of vertical slats they get a 3D mesh pattern finished in black. Several employees have compared the appearance with the "tiger nose" grid of the Kia Stinger.

If you look at both cars from the side with the top-up, you will notice a big difference: the Z4 has left the retractable hardtop of the previous model and has returned to a soft top. As such, the appearance is very different. For a soft top, the fabric roof of the new Z4 does a pretty good job by mimicking a coupe roof line. But it simply can not compete with the sensual curves of the folding top of the latest generation Z4. The latest generation car also benefits from a longer dash-to-axle, giving it more cab-rear proportions. And unfortunately, probably because of the safety standards for pedestrians, the Z4 from 2019 gets a flattened front instead of the shark nose that made the concept so beautiful. However, the pendulum begins to swing something in the favor of the new Z4 when you look at the details. Behind the front wheels you can see a large splash hole, where the character lines start and sweep over the doors. Both cars have boot lids with molded spoilers for duck tails, but those on 2019 are more pronounced.

It is not negligible which car is the new model when you look at it from behind. The 2019 Z4 gets slim rear lights running diagonally across the boot lid, but they also seem to lean from the rear of the car. The familiar roadster, on the other hand, has more rear lights that are not nearly as wide. Both cars have strongly sculpted rear ends, but the new Z4's are even more impressive. Time will tell if the gaze remains standing for another decade or so.

The interior of the BMW Z4 from 2019 is quite standard, as modern BMW cars come, but there is a new digital measuring panel and a wide touch screen for the technical game of the roadster. Meanwhile, the old Z4's cab looks old-fashioned, with an infotainment screen of the last generation and a radio display with red images, a feature that used to be a BMW trademark. But the outgoing Z4 was unique in the way he put the HVAC controls on paper. In the middle of the dashboard are four circles, with the outer dials for dual-zone climate control and the inner are clusters of buttons for fan speed, ventilation selection, recirculation and window / mirror defrosters.

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