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A luxurious and sporty roadster in its previous life, BMW's newest Z4 goes up-market, while also going up in size, weight, horsepower and price.

At first it seems as though the new Z4 is flying in the face of BMW's efficient dynamics philosophy and to a certain extent it is. And yet, even with all of its features ballooning in size, the Z4 might actually be more efficient – for what it is.

When we're talking about efficiency in this respect, it's the "sports car" type and not the sort of measurement you might use for a compact car. If that were the case, efficiency would be measured solely by fuel economy. Not here; although for the record, fuel-economy is almost identical at 18/29 mpg, compared to 19/28 mpg for the previous base engine. We recorded 25 mpg average. It's no improvement and won't get Greenpeace's approval, but for a car that makes 40 more horsepower and weighs 700 lbs more, it does seem like quite a feat of engineering.

When you look at the stats, it's easy to see what direction BMW is taking the Z4 in. Our tester, an sDrive3.0i model, makes 255-hp – a 40-hp increase over the previous entry level Z4 and exactly the same output as the old top-level version.

More: 2010 BMW Z4 sDrive30i Review on AutoGuide.com
 

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If I were in the market for such a car, I would have rather had a true z4 coupe without all the added weight that comes from the convertible top.
 
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