The BMW Z4 is a rear-wheel drive sports car by the German automaker BMW, known as the E85 in roadster form and E86 in coupe form. Production started in 2002, and thus replaced the BMW Z3. The design addresses many criticisms of the Z3; the Z4 is larger, more powerful, and has a significantly stiffer chassis. It is built in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Initially, the Z4 was available only as a roadster, but in 2006 a coupé version was officially launched.
The Z4 was designed by Chris Bangle and began the controversy over his "flame surfacing" design and aggressive styling choices, which can also be seen on most modern BMW cars, most noticeably the 7 Series and 5 Series. As of 2007, the entire BMW car line, including the BMW 3 Series and X5 SAV, had incorporated Chris Bangle's design theme.
The Z4 features a strut type front suspension like its precessor, the Z3. The rear suspension, however is considerably different from that of the Z3, which was based on that of the E30 BMW 3 Series. Instead of a semi-trailing arm suspension, the Z4 uses a more advanced multi-link suspension.