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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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  #1  
Old 10-25-2002, 09:30 PM
Lori Lori is offline
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I just drove a Z4 2.5

Hi evryone,
I just drove the new BMW Z4 roadster and would like to share my experience with you. I am not a professional writer or driver and the following is simply my opinion of this car. I hope everyone enjoys this review.
This evening I got a call from Scott my client adviser at Checkered Flag BMW in Virginia Beach. He has been very enthusiastic about the Z4 even before he attended the Z4 ride and drive. I have enjoyed discussing the Z4 with him at length as until just this evening I had only seen pictures in catalogues and on the net. Scott advised me that the dealership had just recieved two Z4s one being a 2.5, 5 speed manual and the other a 3.0 with Steptronic. Being the curious gal that I am I then proceeded to make a B-line for the dealership. When I arrived ten minutes later, I greeted Scott and we then proceeded to the detail bay where the guys were putting thier finishing touches on a stunning Maldives Blue Metalic, Z4, 2.5 with a dark beige top and beige interior.
I must admit that pictures don't do the car justice. The Z4 is a beautifully sculpted work of art, very three dimensional and one must experience the view in real life to fully appreciate the artful natue of this design. From the soft curves of the hood to the aluminum trimmed roll bars behind the drivers seats and back to the exquisetly flared trunk and chizzled tail lights. This car has an attitude, a real personality. From the front the Z4 looks aggresive without being overdone. The front spoiler almost appears to be smiling at you.
From the drivers seat the gracefull curves of the hood remind you that this car is indeed special. The enveloping interior is uncluttered and functional while tastefully unique with ornate gauge surrounds and pop out drink holders to the left and the right sides of the dash. German engineering and design is all there and then some without being gimmicky or cheap. The center console plays host to a stoarage compatment and the dash is great looking with the aluminum or wood. One very nice feature of the Z4 is the option of either wood or aluminum trim. You can have the Premium Package and still get your aluminum finish. (I am not sure if it is actually aluminum or not). BMW should offer this with more models.
The exhaust growls nicely as you awaken the little car but what I experienced next was a nice suprise. I had expected the 2.5 to be peppy like a 325ci being that they share the same tried and true inline 6. However the performance that the Z4 affords is in my opinion far more than peppy. I kept the DSC "on" as I ran through the gears yet I could tell the 17" wheels wanted to chirp. This car is fast. Grip the thick leather steering wheel with its aluminum trim and thumb pads and one is treated to classic sports car handling at its finest. The Z4 maintains a tight, comfortable level of controll and exibits very little body roll as you weave through imaginary slalom courses and narrow backroads. My guess would be that the 3.0 would be a beautiful beast. For my purposes though the 2.5 provides plenty of muscle with crisp handling while being very pleasing to the eye. For those who question the new design, my advice would be to give it a look and a drive the Z4 will do the rest. Oh yeah, did I mention the lighted Roundel turn signal indicators? Kudos to BMW and the Bangle team. Scott if you read this, Thank you for the drive as well as your excellent service and assistance. You guys at Checkered Flag BMW are great.

-Lori

Last edited by Lori; 10-25-2002 at 10:51 PM.
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  #2  
Old 10-26-2002, 05:51 AM
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Randy Forbes Randy Forbes is offline
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Well Lori,

I have to agree with all of your points about styling, I too really like the car.
I went to look at them last Thursday but I didn't drive it then because I wanted my wife to be with me on that first drive.
As soon as we eat breakfast, we'll head over there and try to drive both cars (blue 2.5/5sp & gray 3.0/auto).

We won't be taking out the checkbook yet though, not until an M version is released (no definite word yet on when). Our salesman already has our name down for one though (without me even telling him).

Glad there are a few people open minded enough to give the car a chance!

Here is a picture I took of Sue standing by one we found in the BMW employee parking lot a few days before HC 02.
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Last edited by Randy Forbes; 10-26-2002 at 05:55 AM.
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  #3  
Old 10-26-2002, 03:43 PM
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Randy Forbes Randy Forbes is offline
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Sue & I drove both the Z4s at Yark today.

Impressions are here:
http://bimmer.roadfly.org/bmw/forums/z3/forum.php?postid=1272923&page=1

The girl is ready...
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1957 Austin-Healey 100/6 Wine Red
1961 McCulloch R1 go-kart Screaming Yellow
1995///M3 Coupe Dakar Yellow Eurosport Twinscrew S/C
1999///M Rdstr Cosmos Black Eurosport Twinscrew S/C
1999///M Coupe Estoril Blue Eurosport Twinscrew S/C
2001///M Rdstr Steel Gray
2011 X5 35i Sport Deep Sea Blue/Cinnamon
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  #4  
Old 10-26-2002, 05:35 PM
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Ron Stygar Ron Stygar is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Randy Forbes
Sue & I drove both the Z4s at Yark today.
Notice any cowl shake?
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  #5  
Old 10-26-2002, 06:06 PM
Lori Lori is offline
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Um, what is cowl shake and how can I tell if it has it? I don't think I noticed any shake.
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  #6  
Old 10-26-2002, 06:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ron Stygar


Notice any cowl shake?
Apparently AssMan did.
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  #7  
Old 10-26-2002, 06:27 PM
Akakubi Akakubi is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ron Stygar


Notice any cowl shake?
No, no noticeable cowl shake - way more solid than the Z3. I was throwing it around a twisty back road pretty hard. It would turn in immediately (kind of weird with the electric steering) and then understeer if ntering too fast. DSC kicks in a bit later than my 330, at least it seems that way.

The interior is designed nicely, but the materials are cheap. The "aluminum" on the center console trim is plastic and feels cheap. There are also pretty large gaps at the places where the door trim is glued to the door handles. The dash material also feels sub-par (E46 is much better). The tail light little trim piece is also simply glued on with a nasty gap. With the top up, there is a huge blind spot. It made me look a few times before changing lanes, since cars kept jumping out from nowhere... just my gripes over the 40K+ car.

The leather on the seats feels softer than E46's - a good touch. The hood is aluminum and is huge! The engine placement is interesting - it sits right in the middle of a huge bay, not pushed back as in other BMW's. There is about a half a foot gap visible behind the engine. You can see almost half of the tranny behind it. On the sides, there is also plenty of space left, so a V8 can easily fit in. I also see a S/C or a Turbo kit beeing developed soon, since there is room to put them in.

Considering all that, I will be waiting for the M Z4 to come out. Unless, of course a new M Coupe makes it to life before.

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  #8  
Old 10-26-2002, 06:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Akakubi
The interior is designed nicely, but the materials are cheap.
Yes, compared to the E46. But they are 15 years better than what came in the Z3.

There is an optional aluminum trim package. Not sure if the one you drove had it or not. The Z4s in Vancouver had it. It was real aluminum.

I would rate the leather quality equal to E46 Montana. Definitely better than Oregon or Classic pleather. There is very little leather however in the Z4. Look close. The sides of the seats and seat backs and most of the door panels and the inboard knee pads are vinyl. Very good vinyl, but vinyl nonetheless.
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  #9  
Old 10-26-2002, 07:01 PM
Akakubi Akakubi is offline
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by JonM
[B]

Yes, compared to the E46. But they are 15 years better than what came in the Z3.

There is an optional aluminum trim package. Not sure if the one you drove had it or not. The Z4s in Vancouver had it. It was real aluminum. [QUOTE]

Is this that aluminum trim? This is what "my" car had.



It defintely didn't feel like a metal trim, wasn't even cold to touch. Maybe it's aluminum coated plastic trim?...

Even though the interior quality is much better that the Z3's, it's not good enough for the price of the car, especially with the current competition. Audi TT and Boxter both have awesome quality interiors. But then again Jon, there are more customers for you now.

Yeah, the leather is good. And what I like about it over the E46 is that they wrapped it around the seat not too tightly. My original SP seat is already worn badly and is being replaced under warranty (2 years). The new fit that they made now is a more "relaxed" fit, so the leather can streatch a bit and not rub off so easily. That's very important for the large side bolster seats.
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Old 10-26-2002, 07:39 PM
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The ones in Vancouver had trim that was brushed (not like matte chrome) and cold to the touch. I think they looked like the one in your pic. I don't have a reference point to compare to... on bmwusa I can't tell the difference between stock graphite trim and the optional aluminum.

I would be tempted to get cloth/leather seats, but I don't like the gray color. All black cloth/leather would be ideal.

It's nice we're not forced to get power seats any more.
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Old 10-27-2002, 07:24 AM
Akakubi Akakubi is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by JonM
The ones in Vancouver had trim that was brushed (not like matte chrome) and cold to the touch. I think they looked like the one in your pic. I don't have a reference point to compare to... on bmwusa I can't tell the difference between stock graphite trim and the optional aluminum.

I would be tempted to get cloth/leather seats, but I don't like the gray color. All black cloth/leather would be ideal.

It's nice we're not forced to get power seats any more.
Yeah, the option list is pretty short for the time being. I am hoping by the M version they would offer a better variety of things and colors. I would also go for the cloth/leather or alcantara/leather trim.

I am also wishing for something to solve those huge blind spots when the top is up. Or maybe I'll just get used to it after more driving...
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