North American Introduction for the Latest in BMW M Series
At the 2006 New York auto show, BMW introduced the Z4 coupe and M coupe to the U.S. market, though this follows a worldwide introduction of the production car at the Geneva auto show in February 2006 and the concept at the Frankfurt show win September 2005.
The BMW Z4 coupe is a much more conventional execution than the first generation Z3 Coupe, which had a love-it-or-hate-it look along the lines of an MGB GT. While there were those who appreciated its odd look, there were not enough of them and the Z4 launched without a coupe companion for the 2003 model year. Of course, the Z4 styling itself was a lightning rod for further criticism of Chris Bangle’s “flame” side detailing, but most criticism was targeted at the weirdly proportioned rear end of the Z4. Where the old Z3 Coupe was weird from the rear, the Z4 coupe conceals the awkward detailing of the Z4 roadster and comes across as a more complete piece of design. Much, much better than the Z4 roadster and its predecessor Z3 coupe.
Given the terrific look of the newest BMW Coupe, this bodystyle of the sports car should experience far more success this time around.
Though Porsche managed to get its Boxster-based Cayman S coupe out ahead of the Z4 Coupe, BMW managed to give the M Coupe a launch price significantly below the Cayman S. More on the price difference later.
With BMW’s giving the Z4 coupe a staggered introduction, AutoPacific and VehicleVoice correspondents were able to see the coupe in concept form at Frankfurt as well as the facelifted roadster and M roadster at the 2006 Detroit auto show. Here’s our first take of the new model.