Photo Comparison: G29 BMW Z4 vs E89 BMW Z4

BMW Z4, News | August 23rd, 2018 by 22
Photo Aug 23 5 14 49 PM 830x553

The brand-new G29 BMW Z4 M40i just made its official debut at Pebble Beach, marking the third generation of Z4 and sixth generation of BMW ‘Z’ cars. It’s a very interesting new car for BMW, as it’s based on an all-new chassis that’s been co-developed with Toyota and the upcoming Supra. It’s also a rather controversial car, as its styling has drawn mixed reviews from fans and enthusiasts. Some love it, some hate it.

A lot of those opinions are drawn from comparisons with its direct predecessor, being that car was relatively controversial itself. So we thought we’d compare the two back-to-back and see how they stack up.

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Despite sharing the same name, these two cars couldn’t look more different. Not only to they look like they come from different eras but they look like they could come from different brands. The older of the two, the E89 Z4, still looks modern in isolation, it sill looks like a car that could be sold today. When compared to the new car, though, you can tell how dated it is.

Up front, I don’t think there’s any question — the E89 Z4 is the prettier car of the two but the new G29 is the sportier car. The former features swooping lines, a flowing hood, mustache-like Kidney Grilles and angelic headlights. However, the G29 features angular, aggressive and in-your-face everything. It’s punchy and mean looking. Personally, I like the new one more but I can completely understand why enthusiasts prefer the look of the old car.

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In profile, both cars are great looking. The E89 Z4 is, again, very pretty, with sweeping lines, muscular looking rear haunches, short rear deck and long, flowing hoodline. Also, the highest point on its hood is at its wheel arches, which makes for a very pretty design. The new G29 BMW Z4 is stubbier, flatter and more angular. It features sharper, crisper creases in its sheet metal and much more aggressive features. However, I just now realized why I love the new G29 Z4’s styling so much. In profile, it looks like my favorite modern roadster and the  one of the most enjoyable cars I’ve ever driven — the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster.

Out back, the new G29 BMW Z4 is much flatter, wider and lower looking. That makes it look and feel sportier, more athletic. The old E89 is pretty but it’s starting to look dated, a bit Bangle-y.

Inside, there’s no comparison. The new BMW Z4 is more modern in every single way, obviously, and it looks much sportier. Although, the new one doesn’t come with a manual, which is a shame.

All in all, it’s really hard to say one is better looking than the other when they’re so different. The old E89 BMW Z4 is a very pretty, very classic looking roadster that looks as if it’s been designed to be a stylish cruiser. While the new G29 BMW Z4 looks far sportier, more aggressive and much angrier. Personally, I like the new Z4 better, because I like a more aggressive looking car. But I can’t really argue anyone who likes the E89 due to its classic and pretty good looks.

22 responses to “Photo Comparison: G29 BMW Z4 vs E89 BMW Z4”

  1. CDspeed says:

    I like the BMW better 😄.

  2. Rolitto says:

    Hands down, I’ll take the E89 anytime. From the sporty wheel arches at the rear-end to the aggressive front-end, there is no contest! The G24 looks KIA from the back and SLK from the sides.

  3. Giom says:

    When ever I see a pic of the new car, I think it’s an a junior AMG GT for a split second. Imho, there is a missing BMW dna element in this design. This worries me. I don’t think it’s a bad looking car, just not as BMW as I would have liked.

    • bogger says:

      And a bad copy, too. The AMG GT has a design you can’t get enough of looking at. You want to touch it every time you see it. Sorry, but I don’t feel the same here. I feel like, let’s hope it looks anything better in real. Please!

  4. DM says:

    BMW’s recent lustful fixation on Mercedes Benz just produced a bastard child. The headlights were lifted straight from the E-Class coupe/AMG GT. It’s embarrassing.

  5. Arunabh says:

    The latest Z4 made me realize what an outstanding effort last one was.This car is lacking that all important distinct BMW flavour and that really is worrying part.

    While other automakers have perfected and beefed their strengths further, BMW gave away their strength meekly. Right now, i am not sure just for what BMW stands. i guess thats what an identity crisis is.

    • bogger says:

      Oh BMW stands for a mainstream manufacturer who lost his innovation. The Next 100 year campaign was a big marketing joke. Profit comes first and scared to produce something outstanding. Only the i team seems to be allowed to go a different way. And from what I heard it was a hard fight.

      • Arunabh says:

        After the new 8 series, i will not disagree with this point. What should have been a next gen 6 is now going to be sold as 8 with sole intention of raking up fatter profits as most people will see the new 8 as higher than 7 series only because 8 is higher number than 7 and that can translate as higher model than 7.

        Such strategies always backfire in the long run. in fact, it has already started. New X3 is the 4th best selling car in Europe after GLC, XC60, & Q5. Globally, G30 5 series is trailing behind new Merc E by around 40000 units till mid year. Funniest part is that, E is selling far more than a 3 series which is a whole segment down.

        Most shocking fact is this: Panamera is a higher selling model than the 7 series. With just its second generation, it has usurped BMW from its rightful place of distinct second best luxury car to Merc S. Their strategy of playing safe to rake up volumes hasn’e exactly put the sales chart on fire. If this is not going to open BMW’s eyes then probably nothing else will.

        I just hope that they don’t start making the fool of themselves while trying to fool others.

    • Giom says:

      What I don’t get is the concept car ticked all the right boxes. The production car unticked all of them. Why? Did Merc commission BMW to design their next SLK then they decided to keep it for themselves? What’s happening over there at BMW? The company is changing… not for the better.

      If it was all about profit, then this is not the direction to go. What’s at play here…?

      • Arunabh says:

        It really is frustrating with BMW for many.

        At times, i too try to come up with an answer for the question that you asked. I even try to identify if i am missing some important logic behind the current BMW path. But, so far i have failed to come up with any substantial answer.

        Ps – i really liked your comment as well. I think we both have common views on this one.

      • CfAuto says:

        Its like whenever Merc introduce a new model it looks 60-80% good but when BMW introduce its the opposite. Just 10-20% looks good and always makes a terrible mistake somewhere in the design.
        And lately I dont get excited anymore whenever they introduce a new model or even new series. For instance I dont want them to do a 9 series, bet they will ruin it.

        They need to go crazy again like they did in mid 2000s with e60. Like putting a V10 in sedan. Miss those times

        • Arunabh says:

          E60 was an absolute corker of a car in every manner.

          I didn’t really understood why it was lambasted by so many. However, i see more and more people appreciating it now because it has aged in an exceptionally graceful manner. To my eyes, its younger looking than both F10 and G30.

          And you are right, BMW designs during that era broke the standard norms and went for something out of their comfort zone. And many may disagree but it was the designs of those era that added new customers to BMW and brought the sales momentum that is still continuing.

  6. bogger says:

    What kind of comparison is this meant to be? The images don’t show the latest Z4 E89 from 2015 but the pre facelift model. Then the images don’t point in the same direction, but opposite. No word about design flaws on any of them. The new model door handles look ridiculous and cheap. The wheel base is shorter, what will most likely result in a more agile (read nervous) drive. Does the new model look impressive, outstanding, must have? Well, not really. It’s a new design, yes. It’s different, ok. But is it really a car you can’t wait to order? No, it’s not. You can copy and past as much of BMWs press release as you like, it doesn’t make the car any better, sorry. And I don’t agree it looks like the concept car. It looks like a lame copy of the concept car. That has the elements, but looks like a fake.

  7. Max says:

    So many haters 😂
    But the good thing is, people come here only to complain and can’t afford to buy new cars anyway so BMW shouldn’t really care.
    The new one looks much better, much more modern! And the most important thing is how it drives and that is amazing and what really makes it a proper BMW!

  8. Marcel Lukačić-Marca says:

    New one definetly looks more modern, obviously, and interior looks better. But exterior-wise, old one laughs in the face to the new one. It’s sleek, elegant and attractive, just like a proper sporty BMW roadster. New one looks like a Fiat 124 Spyder with a BMW badge on it. Disappointment…

  9. Cyclopean says:

    The older one looks laughably better than the new.

  10. Anatoliy Lukashov says:

    Great looking car. But not BMW. If remove badges, I will think that is some kind of new Korean/Japan car. Well, e89 is now very affordable on aftermarket, will buy cheap and enjoy with no disappointments:)

  11. Frank Atcheson says:

    missing an important design element, hint in front of the doors…

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