“Do not try to do everything. Do one thing well.” So said the late boss of Apple, Steve Jobs – a man who proved multiple times over that the key to a successful product is simplicity.
Now that might sound counterintuitive; surely something that caters to everyone would be more successful? But as BMW proved with its second-generation Z4, it can be all too easy to ruin a successful product by overly broadening its scope.
Indeed, after experiencing unprecedented success with the driver-focused first-generation model, BMW went down the wrong path with the subsequent version, adding a heavy folding hard-top roof and soft suspension with the intention of creating a ‘sporty cruiser’.
The end result was a car that was neither especially sporty nor especially comfortable. But thankfully, it seems BMW has learned from its mistakes and has re-focused its efforts on making this latest Z4 the best driver’s car possible.
It reverts to a cloth hood to lower the centre of gravity, plus the suspension has been completely redesigned and is significantly wider across both axles, with the front end growing outward by a startling 98mm.
Of course, with the Z4 growing in size (it’s slightly longer, too) it is actually fractionally heavier than the car it replaces, but BMW hopes the gains made elsewhere will make up for those extra pounds.
The new Z4 is one of 12 cars in contention for the 2019 What Car? Reader Award, where you can vote for the most highly anticipated new car of 2019.
Or to to see if the Z4 can finally take on the dominant Porsche Boxster, read on for our full review. We’ll tell you how it drives, how the interior stacks up against rivals, how practical it is and what it’ll be like to own.