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2014 BMW Z4 Preview: Fresh Looks, More ConnectedDrive

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It's not often that we're flabbergasted by a manufacturer's choice of updates for a car, but now it's happened twice in one evening. First Infiniti goes all Q on us, and now BMW decides to release the second half of what should have been a one-part model refresh.

Why would we say that? Because the "new" for 2014 Z4 gets updates that include: full access to ConnectedDrive features; three new paint colors: Mineral Grey metallic, Glacier Silver metallic, and Valencia Orange metallic (the last can only be ordered with the Hyper Orange package); updated trim and stitching for the interior; a new 18-inch wheel design; and a new side indicator light that "adds a dynamic sweep to the gills on the front side sections of the car" according to BMW.

Yep, that's it in a nutshell.

Updates to the Z4's ConnectedDrive system include: High Beam Assistant, Park Distance Control, and in navigation-equipped cars, internet-based information and entertainment features, including BMW Online portal, Real Time Traffic Information, and iPhone-based BMW apps to scan Twitter and Facebook posts or listen to MOG, Pandora, Aupeo, or Stitcher internet radio. BMW's TeleServices, Remote Services, Concierge Services, and Automatic Collision Notification features are also now included in the Z4's ConnectedDrive package.

The interior updates include standard high-gloss black surrounds for the air vents and iDrive's folding Control Display (part of the optional navigation package); optional Fineline Anthracite wood trim; Kansas leather trim; and the Hyper Orange package, which includes a black-and-orange theme for the cabin, including Alcantara door trim, black leather seats with Valencia Orange stitching, an accent stripe on the backrests and seat cushions, and a "metal weave" trim strip. The Hyper Orange package replaces the previous Citrus Yellow package.

Powertrains and models are unchanged for the 2014 model year, with the 240-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged Z4 sDrive28i, the 300-horsepower six-cylinder turbo Z4 sDrive35i, and the 335-horsepower turbo-six Z4 sDrive35is all carring forward. The sDrive35is is available only with the seven-speed DCT dual-clutch transmission, as last year, while the sDrive28i offers a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic and the sDrive35i gets a choice of six-speed manual or the seven-speed DCT.

The new 2014 Z4 arrives at dealerships in spring 2013. Pricing changes, if any, haven't been announced.

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