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Next BMW Z4: Green light for ‘pure driving pleasure’

  • ‘Particularly important’ test stage at Miramas
  • Next comes camouflage drives on autobahns
  • Major focus is the new suspension system
2018 BMW Z4 TESTING: Image: BMW
2018 BMW Z4 TESTING: Image: BMW

MUNICH, Germany – Long bonnet, short overhangs, low centre of gravity, soft top: despite the camouflage, the two-seater doing laps at the BMW test centre in Miramas in the south of France was instantly recognisable as a pure roadster.

The car is BMW’s next Z4 and it was undergoing a particularly important test stage of the process towards serial production, specifically involving driving dynamics and intended to provide key insights into the performance properties of the new model.

The test cars will soon go out on public roads.

2918 BMW Z3 TESTING: Images: BMW
2018 BMW Z4 TESTING: Image: BMW

”Trials at the Autodrome de Miramas.” BMW says, ”are focusing on fine-tuning all drive and suspension systems – the basis for a sporty driving experience. The most intense form of new dynamic roadster performance is embodied by the BMW Z4 M40i.”

NEW FRONT AXLE

A new and very powerful in-line six-cylinder engine, lowered sport suspension with electronically controlled shock-absorbers, a new front axle, M alloy wheel rims with mixed tyres, M sport brakes and an electronic lock in the rear differential, BMW adds, ”create a package that visualises the BMW M Performance model setting a new benchmark for roadster driving pleasure in the roadster”.

READ MORE BMW features on Carman’s Corner

Jos van As, BMW’s head of application suspension told The Corner: “The new BMW Z4 is geared consistently towards agility and driving dynamics. Body stiffness and a rigid suspension attachment provide the perfect basis for a set-up that guarantees the performance of a genuine sport car in terms of steering precision and longitudinal and transverse acceleration.”

2918 BMW Z3 TESTING: Images: BMW
2018 BMW Z4 TESTING: Image: BMW

The Miramas test centre has been used by BMW to develop and test new cars for more than 30 years with its long asphalt oval and a motorway ring road for high-speed tests. It also has slalom, serpentine and circular tracks and a number of handling courses and circuits with varying surfaces.”

Being tested were the roadster’s acceleration, steering and brake response. ”For example,” BMW says, ”the final form of the adaptive M suspension as it interacts with the rear limited-slip differential is developed on a circuit also used to test BMW Motorsport vehicles.”

The new generation will, BMW says, introduce effective enhancements to agile handling, spontaneity, steering precision and acceleration out of curves ”without losing out in the comfort disciplines”.

2018 BMW Z4 TESTING: Image: BMW
2018 BMW Z4 TESTING: Image: BMW

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