2019 Alfa Romeo 4C vs. 2020 BMW Z4

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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The 4C has standard tall side airbags which act as a forgiving barrier between the driver and outboard passenger's upper bodies and the window and pillars. Combined with high-strength steel door beams and lower side airbags this system increases head protection in broadside collisions. The Z4 doesn't offer side airbag protection for the head.

Both the 4C and the Z4 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.


As tested in Car and Driver the Alfa Romeo 4C is faster than the Z4 sDrive30i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.:



Zero to 30 MPH

1.5 sec

1.9 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

4.1 sec

5.1 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

10.7 sec

13.2 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

5.1 sec

6.1 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

2.9 sec

3.3 sec

Quarter Mile

12.8 sec

13.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

107 MPH

102 MPH

Top Speed

159 MPH

155 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the 4C gets better fuel mileage than the Z4:




1.8 Turbo 4 cyl.

24 city/34 hwy



30i 2.0 Turbo 4 cyl.

25 city/32 hwy

40i 3.0 Turbo 6 cyl.

24 city/31 hwy

The 4C has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Z4 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.


The 4C offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The Z4 doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

The 4C stops shorter than the Z4:



70 to 0 MPH

144 feet

146 feet

Car and Driver

Suspension and Handling

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the 4C is 1.3 inches wider in the front and .1 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Z4.


The Alfa Romeo 4C may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 800 to 950 pounds less than the BMW Z4.

The 4C is 1 foot, 1.7 inches shorter than the Z4, making the 4C easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.


The 4C was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2015. The Z4 has never been an “All Star.”

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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