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Old 10-15-2003, 06:08 PM   #1
The HACK
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Z4 impressions...

Where do I start?

There's this notion that the Z4 is just a much lighter version of the later E46 Cics are way wrong. The Z4 is NOTHING like the E46 dynamically. They may share a lot of suspension parts, but whatever BMW did to it, they must have put in different springs and shocks.

The blue Ci drives like it's on rails after all the modifications. The Z4, right out of the box, drives BETTER than the blue Ci. You push and push and it just keeps looking back at you like "is this all you got punk? I get a better work-out sitting in the garage." The limit on this car is the TIRES. They are heavy and they don't grip all that well. I've gotten them to squeal like a pig easily, and they tend to transmit way too much vibration into the car.

I remember how noisy my Z3 was now. The Z4, despite better insulation, is noisy as hell with the top up or down. In a way I've gotten spoiled by the Ci. It is so quiet I can't hear the Remus exhaust when the windows are all closed. The Z4 on the other hand is all about visceral grunt and sheer pen*s extension, much like the Z3 was if it had a bigger engine.

Balance on this car is like all other BMW, neutral with a touch of understeer. Steering is the biggest surprised. I hear all this complaints about the electronic assisted steering. The Z4 steering is actually heavier and more precise than my Ci's steering, and it's got the old, good steering wearing fat sticky boots up front (235s). And its smooth as butter, but sharp as a knife going through corners. No dead spot. Returns to center quickly and easily. It IS a touch light when manuevering in the parking lot, but not enough to throw me off.

Now to the bad part. Ergonomics SUCKS in this car. The window buttons are hard to reach. The DSC button and the top up/down buttons are hard to reach. The seat adjustiment buttons are hard to reach. The small door pouches are hard to reach. The Z3 was much better in this regard. The material used in the Z4 is also a big step back...Although the extended leather part of it is very, very nice.

Not much new on this car that I haven't expected though.
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Old 10-15-2003, 06:27 PM   #2
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Sounds about right. There's a regular Z4 in our autocrosses, and that car does unbelievably well. There were no classifications for it, so it was dropped in the same class as 325's and 330's. It'll be reclassed higher for next year. I'd love to drive one.

Speaking of bad ergonomics, he always bangs his left knee and thigh on the door pouches. Have you noticed this yet? Or maybe it's just when you're trashing the car around.
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Old 10-15-2003, 06:28 PM   #3
Mathew
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Ergonomics do suck. I remember reaching WAY below my knees to get to the window switches.
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Old 10-15-2003, 06:32 PM   #4
The HACK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpaceMonk
Sounds about right. There's a regular Z4 in our autocrosses, and that car does unbelievably well. There were no classifications for it, so it was dropped in the same class as 325's and 330's. It'll be reclassed higher for next year. I'd love to drive one.

Speaking of bad ergonomics, he always bangs his left knee and thigh on the door pouches. Have you noticed this yet? Or maybe it's just when you're trashing the car around.
Same here. My left knee will probably develope some bruising if I keep driving it.

You guys will have no shot at beating the Z4 with 325s and 330s. With a good set of tires, the Z4 3.0 will be COMPETITIVE against the likes of E46 M3s. In fact, I think it'll spank E46 M3s alive on the autocross course. The only thing that should keep up with it are the S52 M roadys and coupes, and the S54 M roadys/coupes should beat it.
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Old 10-15-2003, 06:36 PM   #5
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Ergonomics is the reason my wife decided that I could get a coupe instead of a Z. It was tough for my wife, who was too small, and tough for me, I was too big.

Unfortunately/fortunately a Z is our loaner car at the dealer.

But it has so much else going for it, I still love the looks of it.
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Old 10-15-2003, 07:01 PM   #6
The HACK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dredmo
Ergonomics is the reason my wife decided that I could get a coupe instead of a Z. It was tough for my wife, who was too small, and tough for me, I was too big.

Unfortunately/fortunately a Z is our loaner car at the dealer.

But it has so much else going for it, I still love the looks of it.
We have no such problem. I'm about 5'11 1/2" and she's well over 5'6", so the car actually fit us both quite well. I have seat memory setting 3 while she took 1, and I set 2 to the default, as far back as possible to make it easier to get in and out of the car.

And I exaggerated a bit when I say my knee will be bruised...It bumps and rubs up against the handle but it will only be a problem if I keep my foot on the deadrest.
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Old 10-15-2003, 07:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The HACK
Quote:
Originally Posted by dredmo
Ergonomics is the reason my wife decided that I could get a coupe instead of a Z. It was tough for my wife, who was too small, and tough for me, I was too big.

Unfortunately/fortunately a Z is our loaner car at the dealer.

But it has so much else going for it, I still love the looks of it.
We have no such problem. I'm about 5'11 1/2" and she's well over 5'6", so the car actually fit us both quite well. I have seat memory setting 3 while she took 1, and I set 2 to the default, as far back as possible to make it easier to get in and out of the car.

And I exaggerated a bit when I say my knee will be bruised...It bumps and rubs up against the handle but it will only be a problem if I keep my foot on the deadrest.

Awesome, sounds like a perfect fit. :smile:
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Old 10-16-2003, 04:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The HACK
You guys will have no shot at beating the Z4 with 325s and 330s. With a good set of tires, the Z4 3.0 will be COMPETITIVE against the likes of E46 M3s. In fact, I think it'll spank E46 M3s alive on the autocross course. The only thing that should keep up with it are the S52 M roadys and coupes, and the S54 M roadys/coupes should beat it.
Glad to know the MRoady will still be good for something. :smile:

Other than that, the Z4 is supposed to correct the things people b*tched about the Z3 all the time (although ergonomics apparently wasn't on the list). You've addressed the improved handling. And it sounds like there's more room in the cockpit. How does the trunk size compare? The glass back window is an obvious improvement. And the car has run-flats, right, so no funky M mobility kit?
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Old 10-16-2003, 04:50 PM   #9
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i did test a z4 3.0 6spd and i really liked the way that it drove.

having owned an e36/8, i really appreciated a lot of the upgrades, mostly in the suspension dept.

it handles quite well. there was an aspect that i probably need to drive the car again to explain well. there were one too many layers between me and the road?

take home: dynamically, it IS a fine car, man.

honestly, if it were not for the looks, i'd consider one. but i just cannot warm to that car enough to want to own one for myself.
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Old 10-16-2003, 06:35 PM   #10
The HACK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pDz
it handles quite well. there was an aspect that i probably need to drive the car again to explain well. there were one too many layers between me and the road?.
It's probably the electronic steering assist (it's not a steering pump with hydraulic fluid anymore). The steering is as precise as ever but the boost felt "artificial".

Didn't bother me.
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