We’ve reached that point already in the current Z4’s life cycle for a gentle nip-and-tuck – what BMW refers to internally as the Life Cycle Impulse (LCI) stage (or facelift). But apart from the new paint colours you’ll struggle to spot the difference.
Joining the range is the new entry-level Z4 sDrive18i powered by 2.0-litre turbocharged engine producing 154bhp and 177lb-ft of torque. The next two engine models make use of the same 2.0-litre turbocharged engine but in higher states of tune, so the sDrive20i produces 181bhp and 199lb-ft and the sDrive28i offers 242bhp and 258lb-ft.
Also unchanged is the 3.0-litre turbocharged 302bhp sDrive35i and sDrive35is with 335bhp.
Performance of the new six-speed manual sDrive18i is sprightly, with 0-62mph covered in 7.9 seconds with a top speed of 137mph. Fuel economy is 41.5mpg (combined) with CO2 emissions of 159g/km.
The main aesthetic changes include revised LED headlights plus a newly-designed tapered surround for the side indicators. An optional BMW Individual hardtop is now available in the two contrast colours – Jet Black and Titanium Silver metallic – while new Mineral Grey metallic, Glacier Silver metallic and Valencia Orange metallic paint finishes can be ordered together with the Hyper Orange package.
The new Hyper Orange Design Package replaces the previously available Citrus Yellow Package and features contrasting black and orange trim, black leather seats with Valencia Orange contrast stitching and an accent stripe running down the central section of the backrests and seat cushions. The interior of all Z4 models also feature new gloss black trim for the air vents and iDrive surrounds as standard.
A new eight-speed automatic transmission joins the six-speed manual and seven-speed dual-clutch DCT systems already available (as offered on the sDrive35i and sDrive35is), while several new alloy wheel designs are also available with the LCI update.
The optional M Sport package, which includes Adaptive M suspension, 18-inch M light-alloy wheels and an M aerodynamics package with large air intakes in the front wing and a rear bumper inlay, is now available in a more focused model-specific version for the top-of-the-range Z4 sDrive35is.
The new BMW Z4 will be delivered to customers from spring 2013.