For 2006, the BMW Z4 transforms with a new appearance, and new engines borrowed from the 2006 3 Series, along with a high-performance M Roadster. There will also eventually be a fixed-roof M Coupe to compete with the new Porsche Cayman.

Styling updates to the Z4 include side marker lights integrated into the wheel arches; new wheel designs; wider air intake scoop with integrated fog lamps; modified grille; all-new rear lights; a second spoiler lip in the rear air dam; larger exhaust pipes; and new Monaco Blue, Flamenco Red, Silver Grey and Deep Green exterior colours. Inside, there’s new aluminum trim, new air vent finishes, and new Montego Blue and Black cloth/leather upholstery, or Saddle Brown full leather.

There are also new designations. Both models use 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder models, but the 215 hp 3.0i replaces the 2.5i of 2005, while the 255 hp 3.0si replaces the previous 3.0i. The M Roadster uses the 330 hp, 3.2-litre engine from the M3 sedan. All three use a six-speed manual transmission.

Features on the 3.0i include front and rear ventilated disc brakes with ABS, Dynamic Stability Control, Dynamic Traction Control, automatic Xenon headlamps, fog lights, heated mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, side thorax and driver and passenger knee airbags, rollover protection bar, manual soft top with heated rear glass window, multi-function leather sport wheel, manual air conditioning, six-way manual sport seats, “leatherette” upholstery and CD/MP3 player with ten speakers.

The 3.0si adds electrically-operated top, chrome exterior grille and headlight accents, chrome exhaust tips, centre front armrest, interior light package, heated seats and leather interior.

The M Roadster is capable of zero to 100 km/h in 5.0 seconds, on its way to an electronically-limited top speed of 250 km/h. It includes hydraulic steering and borrows the M3’s speed-sensitive variable differential lock.

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