2008 Z4 3.0i: BMW of North America
E85 (2006-2008) #LW76378
2,793cc N52 inline six-cylinder
Space Gray metallic
BMW of North America
Woodcliff Lake, NJ (since 2008)
As the replacement for the beloved Z3, the Z4 got more than just a new model designation when it debuted for 2003. Moving sharply upscale to compete with the Porsche Boxster, it got a much stiffer chassis based on the E46 3 Series. Advanced aerodynamics were built into its modern, angular bodywork, which was complemented by a minimalist interior that emphasized the roadster’s nature as a real driver’s car rather than a rolling infotainment system.
A Sequential Manual Gearbox was offered in addition to the standard six-speed manual or optional automatic, but it proved unpopular and was discontinued when the Z4 was updated for 2006. The venerable M54 six gave way to the N52, which featured a magnesium-alloy block, Double VANOS, Valvetronic variable valve lift, and a fuel-saving electric water pump. The N52 displaced 2,996cc in the Z4 3.0i and 3.0si; outputs varied between the two models based on intake, exhaust, and DME programming, with the 3.0i getting 215 horsepower while the 3.0si enjoyed 255.
The car you see here, a Z4 3.0i in Space Gray, was built in October 2008. It was the very last Z4 built at BMW Manufacturing, and therefore the last BMW roadster built in South Carolina. Roadster production shifted to Germany for successive Z4 generations, and Spartanburg would produce only X vehicles after 2008.