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Fun in the sun as BMW refreshes Z4 roadster

The big news for anyone who'd love to own a BMW Z4 is that they are bringing in a new "entry-level" 1.8-litre.

And with it comes a new starting price of €45,860 on-the-road (that means all delivery and related charges are included).

That coincides with a refresh for the luxury convertible – just in time for summer.

The new engine version, which has just gone on sale, is a 2-litre (1,997cc) with a nice bit of power (156bhp) and a spritely enough 0-100kmh time of 7.9 seconds. Emissions at 159g/km mean you pay €570 road tax a year.

Top speed is 221kmh and they are claiming 6.8l/100km.

They have spruced up the Z4 a good deal, with a lot of the emphasis on optional equipment to add comfort, looks and entertainment.

Now, while there are some powerful engines already in the line-up – we had a good drive in the sDrive35is for example – there is no doubt this is a car you can still enjoy at the lower levels of performance.

Let's be honest, all you need really is the weather for a car like this. Drop the hood and drive. And we were lucky with the weather.

There was a really good feedback from the chassis, the steering was sharp and direct. And we enjoyed the way cars like this, that sit low and travel fast, can make you feel like you are going far quicker than you really are. It is the immediacy of it all that conveys the excitement of motion.

That's why, if you are not hung up on the petrol-head performance thing, you can have fun with a smaller engine through either the six-speed manual or eight-speed sports automatic.

Among the standard equipment items now are xenon headlights, air con, heated glass rear window, soft close automatic function for the boot lid, run-flat tyres with indicator of inflation and BMW Business radio that includes CD player, AUX-IN socket and six loudspeakers.

You can open the roof at the touch of a button while doing up to 40kmh, so you're not caught by a sudden wayward shower. It takes 19 seconds to stow away or come back up to keep you snug.

It is May and maybe the weather will kindly greet this new version. I know, I know, I doubt it too – but you can still cheer yourself even with the hood up.

Irish Independent