• Jan 11th 2009 at 2:05PM
  • 24
Click above for a high-res gallery of the 2010 BMW Z4

BMW had a Cirque du Soleil wannabe hanging upside down from a curtain to pull the sheets off of the 2010 BMW Z4 at the Detroit Auto Show. The Z4 is the third generation of BMW's small roadster since the original Z3 debuted in the mid-90s. This time around, the company is moving production from South Carolina to Europe to make room for the next gen X3 at Spartanburg. The new Z4 gets a retractable hardtop in place of the soft top, and with only two seats to cover, the proportions don't look as goofy as other hard top convertibles.

The flame surfacing of the last Z4 has been dramatically toned from the last generation, giving a much cleaner look overall. Under the hood, US versions of the Z4 are restricted to 3.0L six cylinder engines with and without turbochargers. No word yet on an M version, but given recent statements from BMW it seems more likely to get a more highly boosted version of the six rather than the M3's V8. The Z4 goes on sale this summer. Expect pricing to be released closer to the sale date.

Live Photos copyright ©2009 Drew Phillips / Weblogs, Inc.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      That Z4 badge on the back has to go. I don't there is a place on the back it could go and look right.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Newer BMW removed the tackiness of Bangle, which is good.

      That said, still have mixed feelings about this car. My fav is the coupe though, so I'd havta wait and see for that.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Bmw's so far from reality that they release promos of an already ugly car in gold paint.
      • 6 Years Ago
      i just feel like a lotta companies (Nissan wrap arounds, Dodge, etc) are just keeping the front and rear ends the same and just deciding whether to weld a 2 door or 4 door together...particularly I'm talking about the almost identical headlamp and tail light housings .
      • 6 Years Ago
      Adrian Van Hooydonk is Belgian, not German. Chris Bangle is American. A lot of car companies hire designers not by nationality (which is considered discrimination in most civilized nations) but by taste/merit. The designer of the Ferrari Enzo is Japanese, and educated in America.

      I don't think Bangle is good at micro-managing design, but he had the right idea about the creased flame-surfacing. Hooydonk was just the guy to make it work. And so were the guys at Audi and Mercedes to copied that radical style. I think Audi does flame surfacing much better than BMW, ironically.

      This Z4 will be much more successful than the previous one.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I agree with you. The Z4 logo in the back should go. I'd rid of it if I got this car.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Now you can even look like more of a cock. That front end is awfully weird shaped.
      • 6 Years Ago
      LOL. Hyuindai-"I have a soft hammer"-school of design in it's ugly glory! What is it with Germans these days? Germans, please, understand, you are _engineers_, not designers. Just hire your former Italians back already to do the exteriors! How long will it take you to understand that you just can't design anything, neither internally nor externally. (At least we don't have to look at the internal design, just fix it weekly, if not daily :)...
      • 6 Years Ago
      Still dont know how i feel about any of BMW new cars.....
      • 6 Years Ago
      A near perfect car. Relatively affordable, engine capable of 400hp with minimal tweeks ($
      • 6 Years Ago
      Very nice! BMW hits another one out of the park!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Indeed, it looks quite a bit better in these photos than the press release. Tough, post X6, 7 series, 1 series, I'd sat this is one of the first true knock outs from BMW in a while.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "The Z4 is the third generation of BMW's small roadster since the original Z3 debuted in the mid-90s."

      Do they consider the Z1 to be part of the roadster heritage as well?

      I have to say, I love the way this Z4 looks almost Aston-esque.
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