BMW E85/E86

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E85 Z4 Summary

What is an E85 Z4?

The first-generation BMW Z4 was designated the E85 in roadster form and E86 in coupé form. The design of the Z4 and Z4 coupé has variously been ascribed to Anders Warming, Chris Bangle, the highly questioned former BMW Head Designer, and Adrian von Hoydonk, the present one.

All Z4s (E85 Roadster/E86 Coupe) were built at BMW's Spartanburg plant in South Carolina.

Z4 Coupe

BMW unveiled a concept coupé version of the Z4 at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2005. The company announced in 2005 that the coupé would be available for production including the return of the M Coupé. The production cars were introduced at the New York Auto Show in April 2006. The Z4 coupé is available only in the high-performance 3.0si trim powered by the 3.0 L 255 hp (190 kW) I6.

Z4 M

BMW released a limited production, new redesigned, M Coupe based on the Z4. The first cars were delivered right after the North American introduction on May 27, 2006. It has the 3.2 liter inline 6 cylinder S54B32 engine and produces a SAE rated 330 hp (250 kW) with a redline at 8,000 rpm. It shares many components with the Z4 and with the E46 M3. Other components come directly from the M3 CSL like the cross drilled 13.7" floating front rotors, even though it continues to use the same brake pads as the original Z3 M Coupes. Acceleration to 60 mph (100 km/h) comes in 4.8 seconds and top speed is limited electronically to 155 mph (250 km/h).

Model Year Differences


From 2003 the Z4 Roadster is available as a 3.0i (3.0 L I6 with 215 hp), a 3.0si available with the new generation 3.0 L I6 with 255 hp (190 kW) , a 2.5si with a 2.5 I6 with 218 bhp (163 kW; 221 PS), a 2.2i with a straight-6 170 bhp (127 kW; 172 PS) engine, or a 2.0i with a 150 bhp (112 kW; 152 PS) 2.0 L I4.


The standard cars received the new N52 I6 engines. The N52 features a magnesium block construction, which consists of an aluminium interior for the cylinders, and an outer magnesium block. The engine features BMW's Valvetronic variable valve timing system for increased performance, are considerably more powerful through the middle of the rev range, and also improve fuel economy noticeably. A final benefit of the N52 engines is that they improve handling and turn-in due to the decreased weight over the nose of the car. This is particularly noticeable when compared to the Z4 M, which continued with the heavier S54 iron block engine.

Standard equipment include Run Flat Tires, ABS Brakes, Stability Control, Traction Control, CD Player, Power Locks, Power Windows and Air Conditioning. The Z4 included Side Airbags, Driver Airbags, Passenger AirBags, Knee Airbags and 5 Star Rollover Protection.

In addition to the powertrain updates, BMW made mild revisions to the styling of the Z4, added several electronic features, and increased the brake size on the 3.0si models.

The 2006 BMW Z4 received a number of updates including a revised exterior, more powerful engines and improved interior features. Highlighted by a new front bumper ensemble with a larger air intake, rectangular foglights and front side reflectors, the exterior also received new wheels, rear bumper and taillight designs. The interior was fitted with a new aluminium trim, shift knob for automatic transmission and new colors. The 3.0i replaced the 2.5i and the 3.0si replaced the 3.0i. Power was increased to 215 and 185 lb-ft of torque for the 3.0i while the 3.0si got 255 horsepower and 220 lb-ft of torque. A 6-speed manual transmission was standard with an optional 6-speed automatic. Standard 17-inch wheels were standard on both trims and the Sport Package also features new wheels as well.

2006 to 2007

AUX-in for the stereo was added in 2007 but was not in 2006 cars.

Production Numbers

Z4 M, 2006-2008

  • Coupes, Worldwide: 4,275, North America: 1,815
  • Roadsters, Worldwide: 5,070, North America: 3,042


Common Issues

  • 1st to 2nd shift grinding
  • Motor mount bolts
  • Front strut-to-firewall braces
  • Rear sway bar mounts
  • Broken springs


Power Roof Top Failure - Rusted out Power motor - evaluate models 2033- 2007 for water leakage into power motor top - fix is $1000 - $1500. BMW knew about the problem in 2003 but did not fix it until 2009




Forced Induction






  • OEM Aero Kit
  • Grilles
  • Spilers
  • Reflector cover decals



External links