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Roadster Revived: BMW Z4

The Z-series is officially German, as manufacturing of BMW’s roadster has been moved from South Carolina to Regensburg, Germany. Equipped with a lightweight aluminum retractable hardtop that folds up or down in 20 seconds, the new Z4 replaces the previously separate roadster and coupe versions. Compared to the previous-generation Z4, the new vehicle is nearly 6 inches longer and half an inch wider, has an inch-longer wheelbase, and is significantly heavier, adding up to 520 lbs compared with the previous model. Two engines will be available: a 255-hp version, or the sDrive35i, which is powered by a 2,979 cc twin-turbocharged inline six producing 302 hp and 295 ft-lbs of torque. Best of all, an optional 7-speed dual-clutch transmission promises to make smooth work of curvy roads. (www.bmwusa.com)

Gregory Anderson

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