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The biggest news for the 2012 BMW Z4 is under the hood. The normally aspirated in-line-6 is gone. Its replacement, a 2.0-liter turbocharged four, is the new entry-level face of BMW, providing the performance foundation for the new 5 Series, the upcoming 3 Series and this, BMW's performance roadster. With similar horsepower, more torque (!), lighter weight and better balance, this newest Z4 promises to recall any number of great drop-tops, some of which were built by BMW.
Some luxury-branded roadsters are all about power, handling and feel, while most place a greater emphasis on style, comfort and open-air fun. The Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class, Porsche Boxster and Audi TT each lean towards a particular side of the performance scale, but no competitor can appeal to both camps more so than the 2014 BMW Z4. The retractable hardtop makes convincing yourself into purchasing a convertible less of an exercise, and the driver-oriented cockpit is surprisingly roomy for the long of limb, a rarity in this class. Add in a pair of turbocharged engines, and the 2014 Z4 has the makings of a true world-class roadster.