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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > Z Series > E36/7 Z3 (1996-2002)

E36/7 Z3 (1996-2002)
E36/7 Z3 Roadster, Z3 coupe, Z3 M Roadster and Z3 M Coupe talk with our gurus here.

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  #51  
Old 12-27-2009, 11:23 PM
reidconti reidconti is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chickdr View Post
The comments about the "cheap" interior of the S2K are quite amusing. My S2000 had a very nice interior. Sure it is dated as the car came out in 1999 and wasn't changed much in its 10yr run, but the materials are very high quality. My car was rock solid for the 3yrs I had it. My 06 Z4 is different, but certainly not better in material quality and in some areas is inferior(cheap cup holders, creaks and groans).
To me, cheap interior is exemplified in the way all of the controls work. I think the japanese makers are laughing at the customer when they fit window switches that do auto-down only, and ONLY for the driver's window.. in a 2-seat car, for god's sake! I'd rather have hand crank windows than arbitrary cost-cutting measures like this. The turn signal stalk that feels like it's going to break off into your hand is another example. These things bug me more than squeaks and rattles, which end up happening to most cars given enough time and use. Hell, my 93 VW had auto-up and auto-down windows. I've gotta imagine that in this decade is costs MORE money to buy multiple kinds of relays and switches and stuff, rather than just fit auto-up and auto-down to every window in every car you sell. The manufacturing costs on these things have to be absolutely nil.

That's what drives me batty about the s2000. BMW knows how to build switches and knobs and controls that feel modern rather than fisher-price. But I'd still buy the s2k in a heartbeat
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  #52  
Old 12-28-2009, 02:16 AM
fr8tdog fr8tdog is offline
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Mein Auto: 2006 Z4 M
IF price is an issue, honda and miata will satisfy. If quality is an issue....BMW Z3M or Z4m some susp. upgrades and maybe a supercharger...your in a far far away different league. and you can keep it until someone has to change your diapers! Classic verse mass production...just my 2 cents.
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  #53  
Old 12-28-2009, 02:32 AM
fr8tdog fr8tdog is offline
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older hondas and miata look like beaten up red headed step children....or maybe a small taxi. Older Z3m and Z4m's remind me of a 57 corvette......classic and stylish! I predict the Z4M and 3 will be a big collector someday
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  #54  
Old 12-28-2009, 02:43 AM
fr8tdog fr8tdog is offline
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Mein Auto: 2006 Z4 M
And I plan on driving my 2006 Z4m to my own....... old aged funeral..
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  #55  
Old 12-28-2009, 07:42 AM
chickdr chickdr is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reidconti View Post
To me, cheap interior is exemplified in the way all of the controls work. I think the japanese makers are laughing at the customer when they fit window switches that do auto-down only, and ONLY for the driver's window.. in a 2-seat car, for god's sake! I'd rather have hand crank windows than arbitrary cost-cutting measures like this. The turn signal stalk that feels like it's going to break off into your hand is another example. These things bug me more than squeaks and rattles, which end up happening to most cars given enough time and use. Hell, my 93 VW had auto-up and auto-down windows. I've gotta imagine that in this decade is costs MORE money to buy multiple kinds of relays and switches and stuff, rather than just fit auto-up and auto-down to every window in every car you sell. The manufacturing costs on these things have to be absolutely nil.

That's what drives me batty about the s2000. BMW knows how to build switches and knobs and controls that feel modern rather than fisher-price. But I'd still buy the s2k in a heartbeat
I guess its a matter of perspective. My 06 had auto-down windows for both sides(although I know this feature was added over the years). The funny thing to me was both windows went down automatically when the auto-top was activated anyway, but did not come up when the top was raised. I don't remember any cars having this feature in the early 90's save some high end MB's and BMW's. I think this feature is still reserved for higher end cars in many makers lines. The other switch gear had a high end feel to me as well(except for the dash controls for the radio volume and fan control which were lightweight plastic toggle switches). Everything operated with precision- like the door over the radio which swung down in a smooth, controlled fashion when activated.

I agree with you about the craziness in fitting the different style parts to cars. How about HID's? How much more does it cost to design two completely different sets of lights for a car rather than having all of them get the same lights?
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  #56  
Old 12-29-2009, 01:47 AM
bcworkz bcworkz is offline
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Not important for many, but I found the passenger side of the S2000 ('06 I think) rather uncomfortable. Driver side was OK, if a bit tight. I have to argue with the other half on who gets to drive, and we take some longish trips. I found our Z4 much more comfortable for touring duty, yet plenty fun in the twisties.

Other reasons for us not going with the s2000 have been mentioned, mainly lack of low end torque, ordinary interior, harsher ride on poor pavement. (BTW, what's with the chintzy hidden fuel door release thingy?)

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Originally Posted by hts View Post
might also look at a 370z vert (very different car i realize), but i did enjoy it's rev-synchro matching a LOT.
Learn to do your own rev matching! You will be greatly rewarded with a sense of satisfaction and pride in being a real driver, especially once you learn to do it while braking. If you want a machine to drive for you, get a slush box.

(Just had to rib you a little, do what you like.)

And yes, I see the irony of the above statement while owning a car that has pretty much e-everything. One can rarely get exactly what one wants.
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  #57  
Old 12-29-2009, 08:49 AM
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jtm964 jtm964 is offline
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The M for sure.
I heard people complaining about the semi trailing arm set up like its so bad and so dangerous. What exactly is wrong with that set up? Its older tech but it works just fine. The E30 M3 has that and everyone is praising the handling. I'll bet my last dollar that 99% of the people driving their cars 99% of the time on the road cannot tell what set up is under their cars.
I have the Z3M for a few years and its one of the most fun and enjoyable cars I have.
I drove the S2k and I hated the torque(less). 9K redline ? you'll know the pain when its time to replace that tranny and the gearbox.
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  #58  
Old 12-29-2009, 09:29 AM
chickdr chickdr is online now
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Originally Posted by jtm964 View Post
The M for sure.
I drove the S2k and I hated the torque(less). 9K redline ? you'll know the pain when its time to replace that tranny and the gearbox.
Huh? What do you mean by this? The S2K is a very reliable car unless you overrev or do clutch dumps(which will tear up most cars).
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  #59  
Old 12-29-2009, 10:06 AM
dougmcintyre dougmcintyre is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtm964 View Post
The M for sure.
I heard people complaining about the semi trailing arm set up like its so bad and so dangerous. What exactly is wrong with that set up? Its older tech but it works just fine. The E30 M3 has that and everyone is praising the handling. I'll bet my last dollar that 99% of the people driving their cars 99% of the time on the road cannot tell what set up is under their cars.
I have the Z3M for a few years and its one of the most fun and enjoyable cars I have.
I drove the S2k and I hated the torque(less). 9K redline ? you'll know the pain when its time to replace that tranny and the gearbox.
What's wrong with the semi trailing arm set up? Little tolerance for poor driving. See http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...d.php?p=628649.
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  #60  
Old 12-29-2009, 02:07 PM
reidconti reidconti is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtm964 View Post
I heard people complaining about the semi trailing arm set up like its so bad and so dangerous. What exactly is wrong with that set up? Its older tech but it works just fine. The E30 M3 has that and everyone is praising the handling. I'll bet my last dollar that 99% of the people driving their cars 99% of the time on the road cannot tell what set up is under their cars.
Much, much, much trickier to drive on the limit. The car likes to snap hard. I find it pretty easy to hold a drift; oddly easier in the dry than in the wet. But it can be very easy to find yourself in a tank-slapper kind of situation, particularly on autocross or if you find yourself having to make unexpectedly abrupt input changes. It's worlds different from an E36 M3.

One reason the E30 M3's handling was so highly praised was for it's overall balance and nimbleness. Doesn't mean it's perfect, but it's sure a lot smaller and lighter than the current cars.

Quote:
I drove the S2k and I hated the torque(less). 9K redline ? you'll know the pain when its time to replace that tranny and the gearbox.
What?
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  #61  
Old 12-29-2009, 02:52 PM
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jtm964 jtm964 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reidconti View Post
Much, much, much trickier to drive on the limit. The car likes to snap hard. I find it pretty easy to hold a drift; oddly easier in the dry than in the wet. But it can be very easy to find yourself in a tank-slapper kind of situation, particularly on autocross or if you find yourself having to make unexpectedly abrupt input changes. It's worlds different from an E36 M3.

One reason the E30 M3's handling was so highly praised was for it's overall balance and nimbleness. Doesn't mean it's perfect, but it's sure a lot smaller and lighter than the current cars.



What?
The E30 M3 is about 2850 lb and the Z3M is around 3000 lb., and their weight distribution is about the same... so I do not see a whole lot of difference.
As for the S2000.. if you ***** foot the car, the 0-60 time is more like 10 seconds. If you want to duplicate those numbers posted in car magazines, you basically have to "abuse" the transmission by dumping the clutch and speed shift.. and I highly doubt that the tranny and the gearbox will hold up.
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  #62  
Old 12-29-2009, 05:57 PM
reidconti reidconti is offline
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Probably going to be at least a 200# weight difference (I know my car clocks in at 3060#), but I wasn't so much comparing the E30 M3 to the Z3M in terms of nimbleness; I was explaining why people favor the E30 M3 over the E36/E46 in some ways. I haven't spent much time behind the wheel of an E30 M3, and never at the limit, but I suspect you'll find much of the same tricky handling that you find in a Z3M. Worlds different from an E36/E46 -- though, interestingly, fairly similar to an S2000.

(I'm not commenting here on the suspension design of the S2000, just that it's known to be twitchy if you're not careful with your throttle changes)

I see what you mean about the transmission taking a beating from clutch dumps to get fast 0-60 times. I just hadn't realized we were talking about drag racing. I don't really care about that kind of stuff. It's plenty quick with fairly aggressive clutch engagement (but not abuse). But yeah, way less torquey, a very different car from a Z3M/Z4M.
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  #63  
Old 12-29-2009, 08:25 PM
BenattheTrack BenattheTrack is offline
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The S2k is an awesome car! I had one for a couple of years that I used as a daily driver and as a track car. I appreciated the simple, straight-forward interior and liked the overall clean look.

I enjoyed driving it everyday and thought the ride was very good (better combination of tight/compliant suspension than my Z4MC), and of course the shifter is phenomenal.

However, you MUST take it to the track. It is a completely different animal. Out there you LIVE on the rev limiter where the power is smooth and rapid. The shifter-clutch-brake-accelerator seem to all come together and almost work themselves!

Mine was on '02 and set up very neutral (it has taken a LOT of tweaking to come close to this level of neutrality in my MC). It was magic on the track! You can absolutely feel the rear ease out and make it dance through slow-medium pace turns. Transitions were a dream.

However, with all that said, I really feel that my Z4MC has the same heart of a track car with a heck of a lot more power! And she's faster!

You will love the S2k as a weekend car but if you don't take her to the track at least once you don't know what your missing. It would be kinda like taking Angelina Jolie out and shaking hands after dinner. I'm sure that's fun, but...
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