M Roadster Makes World Debut
The BMW M Roadster is now part of the BMW stable. The motorsports version of the highly successful Z4 Roadster has been much anticipated by BMW enthusiasts. It is based on the newly updated BMW Z4 Roadster, which received a number of enhancements for 2006, not the least of which are the latest Valvetronic, magnesium/aluminum inline six-cylinder engines. The M Roadster embodies the classic values of the BMW brand, and serves as the inspiration for the recently announced Z4 Coupe and M Coupe production versions.
The 2006 BMW M Roadster made its world debut at the North American International Auto Show, alongside the 2006 Z4 Roadster. The M Roadster will be built at BMW Manufacturing Co. in Spartanburg, S.C., and will arrive in U.S. showrooms this spring with an MSRP of $51,995 including destination and handling. The 2006 Z4 Roadster line-up will consist of the Z4 3.0i at $36,295 MSRP, and the Z4 3.0si at an MSRP of $42,795.
At the heart of the new M Roadster is BMW M’s award winning 3.2-liter, in-line six-cylinder engine. With its high-speed concept, this engine works through a six-speed manual transmission to provide exhilarating performance in all speed ranges. As in the BMW M3, this engine features dual overhead cams, double-VANOS variable valve timing, and six individual throttle plates. This normally aspirated engine generates more than 100 hp per liter. On the road, this means 0-60 in less than five seconds and a top speed electronically limited to 155 mph.
The M Roadster features the speed-sensitive variable M differential lock, already well proven and admired in the M3. It provides outstanding stability and traction, particularly when accelerating out of bends. To maximize its braking capabilities, the new M Roadster uses BMW M’s floating compound high performance braking system included in the M3 Competition Package. With weight-saving aluminum hubs and steel cross-drilled discs, this system minimizes the risk of warping under hard use.
To maximize its braking capabilities, the new M Roadster uses BMW M’s floating compound high performance braking system originally conceived for the M3 CSL and included in the M3 competition package. With weight-saving aluminum hubs and steel cross-drilled discs, this system minimizes the risk of warping under hard use.
The M Roadster also benefits from the latest developments in Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) to provide the utmost in active safety. Emergency braking capability is maximized by features such as Brake Drying, which works to help keep the brakes dry in wet conditions, and Brake Standby, which immediately positions the brake pads nearer the discs whenever the driver lifts off the accelerator pedal quickly. Emergency braking is enhanced further by automatic Brake Fade Compensation, which helps to maximize brake pressure and stopping ability whenever the brakes get hot. Smooth starts and stops are facilitated by the Start-Off Assistant, which holds the brakes briefly on a hill after the brake pedal is released in order to prevent the car from rolling back.
The new M Roadster continues the characteristic design language of BMW Roadsters. The modified front section incorporates new foglights and reflectors. The newly standard xenon headlights feature the four-lighted rings that have quickly become a BMW design hallmark. The restyled rear taillights include BMW’s two-stage Adaptive Brake Lights.
The M Roadster distinguishes itself from the standard Z4 starting with its front air dam, consisting of an X-shaped combination of lines and openings, plus the large air intake scoops. The M Roadster uses exclusive double-spoke design 18-inch alloy wheels. And last, but certainly not least, the rear of the M Roadster incorporates a horizontal diffuser and the four round tailpipes, which have become a hallmark of BMW M design.
The distinctive M touches continue in the interior. As on other BMW M products, the white-on-black instruments include red indicator needles accentuated by white illumination. Also included is the engine speed band in the tachometer. As in other BMW M cars, the yellow pre-warning field and red warning field show the safe operating range of engine speed as a function of oil temperature. Other interior elements are also upgraded for the M Roadster, including the steering wheel, gearshift knob and door sills.
New exterior colors, including three that are exclusive to BMW M, allow the new M Roadster to be tailored to individual tastes. As with the Z4 Roadster, all BMW M Roadsters will be built exclusively at BMW’s U.S. manufacturing facility in Spartanburg, S.C.
BMW was the first automaker to reintroduce a luxury roadster to the public with the Z3 Roadster in 1996, sparking the rebirth of sporty two-seaters. Built at BMW Manufacturing Co. in Upstate South Carolina, the Z3 was the first BMW to be exclusively manufactured outside of Germany.
And 2006 also marks the 10th anniversary of Roadster Homecoming, a three-day event on Labor Day weekend that attracts roadster owners from as far away as Alaska and as close as just down the road to visit the factory where their vehicle was built.
The Z3 made its debut as James Bond’s vehicle of choice in the movie GoldenEye. By the time the last Z3 was produced in June 2002, nearly 300,000 had been built and shipped to more than 120 markets worldwide.
The Z4 Roadster, the first next-generation vehicle launched at the Spartanburg plant, began production in October 2002 and the 100,000th Z4 was built in November 2004. The Z4 M coupe will begin production this spring.
BMW Manufacturing Co. is a subsidiary of BMW AG in Munich, Germany. In addition to the South Carolina manufacturing facility, BMW’s North American subsidiaries include sales, marketing and financial services operations in the United States, Canada and throughout Latin America; an information technology consulting and systems integration firm in South Carolina; and a design firm in California.