The second-generation BMW Z4 has come in for a 2012 model-year update. While little has changed on the outside, it's a whole new story under the skin - and on the price list.
The entry-level Z4 sDrive23i has been dropped for 2012, its 150kW six-cylinder engine ousted by the new N20 turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine and a sharp new entry price.
Producing 135kW and 270Nm (power down, torque up), the turbo four-pot propels the new entry-level Z4 sDrive20i to 100km/h in 6.9 seconds - short of its predecessor's time by just three hundredths of a second.
Mated to a six-speed manual transmission, the sDrive20i lists fuel consumption figures of 6.7 l/100km - shaving 1.8 l/100km off the previous model. A new eight-speed Sport Automatic transmission is also available.
Priced at $76,900, nearly $10,000 less than the outgoing sDrive23i, the sDrive20i slips in beneath the fuel-efficient Luxury Car Tax threshold.
The new price point means the slightly less powerful and barely less punctual sDrive20i is unlikely to present many downsides for new Z4 buyers.
Entering the 2012 model year at a sub-$80k price also makes the sDrive20i more affordable than the equivalent 135kW Mercedes-Benz SLK 200.
2012 BMW z4 sDrive28i
A more powerful version of the N20 engine is also on offer, with the 190kW/310Nm 3.0 litre six-cylinder engine replaced with a more highly-tuned version of the turbocharged four-cylinder engine.
Power for the top-shelf four-cylinder engine is rated at 180kW and 350Nm (again; power down, torque up), giving the new Z4 sDrive28i a 0-100km/h time of 5.7 seconds - one hundredth of a second quicker than the ougoing sDrive30i.
Fuel consumption is listed at 6.7 l/100km - equal to the less powerful sDrive20i - when mated with the standard six-speed manual. The eight-speed Sport Automatic is also available.
As with the entry-level model, the sDrive28i swoops in under the fuel-efficient luxury car tax threshold and is priced at $89,400 - compared to $98,100 for its predecessor.
In order to harmonise prices across the range, BMW has also cut prices for the unchanged Z4 sDrive35i ($107,500, down from $116,898) and the flagship Z4 sDrive35is ($120,500, down from $129,900).
The new pricing means that the 225kW sDrive30i again undercuts the nearest Mercedes-Benz offering, with the new 225kW SLK 350 priced at $118,900.
The updated BMW Z4 range hits Australian showrooms in November.
Note: prices are Manufacturer's List Price and do not include on-road costs.