P0049904.JPGAfter a lengthy and successful run, the first generation Z4 will bow out this winter to make way for a new and improved model for 2009. Completely redesigned the new Z4 will be available with two engines and several transmission choices.

The Z4 sDrive35i will make use of BMW’s fabulous twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline-six powerplant, which boasts 300hp and 300 ft-lbs of torque, and the sDrive30i will come equipped with a naturally aspirated 3.0-liter inline-six (the same one found in the 328) that produces a respectable 255hp and 220 ft-lbs of torque. Both vehicles come standard with a six-speed manual transmission and each have different optional transmissions: the sDrive30i an optional six-speed automatic and the sDrive35i with the seven-speed double-clutch system first offered on the M3! Acceleration wise, the sDrive30i will hit 60 mph in 5.6 seconds (or 6.0 seconds with the automatic) whereas the sDrive35i will blast to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds (or an even more impressive 5.0 seconds with the double-clutch transmission). For 2009 the Z4 will receive plenty of all new items including a retractable hardtop roof – as opposed to the cloth-top on the outgoing model. BMW says the roof will open or close in 20 seconds. Inside, the Z4 also gets an update and will be equipped with BMW’s iDrive system (and an 8.8-inch LCD monitor) for the first time.