BMW continues to launch facelifts which demand a magnifying glass to distinguish the changes. After recently putting the X1, 5-Series and 7-Series under the scalpel, the German auto brand has gone ahead and updated the Z4 which made its public debut at the 2013 Detroit Motor Show in January. The vehicle has been launched in India in two trims – BMW Z4 sDrive35i and BMW Z4 sDrive35i Design Pure Traction. Changes to the exteriors include new headlights (featuring new LED rings and a LED accent on the top), tapered surround for side indicators and new alloy wheels.
Step inside the 2014 BMW Z4 and the changes are minimal here as well as BMW has played with colours and materials but the design of the cockpit remains largely the same. The iDrive system has been updated to pair effortlessly with the Apple iPhone. The BMW Z4 continues to be powered by the familiar 3.0-litre, 6-cylinder engine which produces 306 HP of power and 400 Nm of torque, coupled to a 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox. Power is channelled to the rear wheels and the Z4 will sprint to 100 km/hr from standstill in 5.1 seconds while the top speed is 250 km/hr.
BMW has priced the Z4 sDrive35i at Rs. 68.90 lakhs while the Design Pure Traction variant comes in at Rs. 69.90 lakhs (ex-showroom, India). The BMW Z4 competes with the Mercedes SLK 350 and to some extent with the Audi TT as well (which comes in much cheaper and is a coupe). BMW India is currently focussing on profitability and has accepted its lost position in the Indian market. The company will launch the 3-Series GT in India by mid-2014. A second shift has commenced at the company’s Chennai facility, boosting production capacity to 14,000 units per annum.
BMW India’s President, Mr. Philipp Von Sahr believes that Mercedes-Benz and Audi will be affected in India in the long term of the business but BMW won’t be. In spite of his belief, it’s Audi and Mercedes-Benz which have better understood Indian customers resulting in higher sales. It was BMW which started the discounting game when it entered India in the last decade but the company has taken an opposite stance recently. BMW won’t get into a price war and thus no smaller engines or cheaper BMWs will be launched anytime soon. Premium segment will be solely targeted. The company will boost brand reach by expanding dealership count to 50 outlets in the near future.
Pictures – Anannd Sampat