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E36 /7 Z3 (1996-2002)
E36/7 Z3 roadster and coupe talk with our gurus here.

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  #1  
Old 12-15-2008, 06:04 AM
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amancuso amancuso is offline
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Does anyone else here hate the fact that BMW is switching to hardtop convertibles?

OK... the title says it all.... The New Z4 looks awesome, but they lost me with that damn retractable hardtop.... it seriously does not belong on a roadster.. IMHO they ruined the 3 series with it, and I fear the 6 is next up for that treatment.

-Al.
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  #2  
Old 12-15-2008, 06:41 AM
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As long as this does not mean that they will stop making coupes, I am quite indifferent to it as I am not a roadster person at all.

I am curious as to why you think it does not belong on a roadster though besides added weight and less trunk space? When its down, how does it matter whether its a soft top or not? The hard top would probably be better for the winters and rain and hopefully will wear better too over time ...
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  #3  
Old 12-15-2008, 07:14 AM
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The loss of trunk space is what will turn me off. I guess that until I see how much space you really loose, I will keep an open mind. From the movie I have seen, it looks like there is room under the top storage to put things. I will need to put hands and eyes on it for myself.
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Old 12-15-2008, 07:27 AM
Topshelf Topshelf is offline
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Originally Posted by pal View Post
As long as this does not mean that they will stop making coupes, I am quite indifferent to it as I am not a roadster person at all.
Same here. I've had 3 verts over the years and can't say that I really enjoy having the top down, so I'm a coupe guy. That being said, given the choice I'd take a hard top vert over a ragtop since it's as solid and secure as a coupe with the top up. I'm sure it does add weight, but other than that and less trunk space, I'd think it would be all positives.
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Old 12-15-2008, 07:44 AM
caseysc1 caseysc1 is offline
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I am roadster guy and would never buy a coupe. I think the folding hardtop is a new paradigm for roadsters. Makes sense in several ways as mentioned. As with the others, space could be a show stopper for me. I have to admit that I would miss the softtop but would get over it if the new top delivers as expected.
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  #6  
Old 12-15-2008, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Topshelf View Post
Same here. I've had 3 verts over the years and can't say that I really enjoy having the top down, so I'm a coupe guy. That being said, given the choice I'd take a hard top vert over a ragtop since it's as solid and secure as a coupe with the top up. I'm sure it does add weight, but other than that and less trunk space, I'd think it would be all positives.
+1.

I was looking at the 3er, but I now have to give serious consideration to the new Z. It is a stunning vehicle and it's a coupe with a hardtop which I would use infrequently, but it's nice to have it there for when the mood strikes. Perfection.
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Old 12-15-2008, 07:52 AM
MVF4Rider MVF4Rider is offline
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Hardtop equals much more weight and a mechanical complication that would be very difficult to sort out after an accident damaging those components. Regardless, it's not nice to look at either. In addition, the current Z4 has very clean lines. The new less so.
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  #8  
Old 12-15-2008, 08:54 AM
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I understand the concept of building a car for everyone, which is what BMW appears to be doing with the hardtop roadster. I am a coupe driver, I do not want the weight, complexity, and flex that come with a roadster. I appreciate why people like roadsters and there certainly is a market for them. When it's time to move from my Z4 Coupe, I hope BMW has something to offer me in terms of a performance car, if not, there are other marques.
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  #9  
Old 12-15-2008, 08:57 AM
Lanc3r Lanc3r is offline
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If I wanted a roadster for the performance Id get a Miata.
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  #10  
Old 12-15-2008, 09:42 AM
Syaka Syaka is offline
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I liked the Z3, Z4 and Z8 with the cloth top because they were simple cars heavily inspired on classic roadsters of the 60's and very focused on being a sports car. While the hard top is more convenient and modern, I think it detracts somewhat from that purity of purpose.
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  #11  
Old 12-15-2008, 10:09 AM
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I can fit 2 sets of golf clubs (in carry bags) with the roof down in my Z, no hope in hell of doing that in an SLK and I'll bet the new hardtop Z as well. Hence why I'm hoping my '05 Z4 has a decent build quality so it's running until a suitable replacement is on the market.

dave
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  #12  
Old 12-15-2008, 10:16 AM
gilpinshay gilpinshay is offline
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Originally Posted by daveysew View Post
I can fit 2 sets of golf clubs (in carry bags) with the roof down in my Z, no hope in hell of doing that in an SLK and I'll bet the new hardtop Z as well. Hence why I'm hoping my '05 Z4 has a decent build quality so it's running until a suitable replacement is on the market.

dave
From the press release:
Flexible storage with optional through-loading.

The roof compartment and the luggage compartment are separated from one another by a moveable partition, which may be folded up to increase luggage space if the roof will remain closed.

The moveable partition in the new BMW Z4 is unique in the premium roadster segment, and offers enough luggage space with the hardtop open for a medium-sized hard-shell suitcase.

Using the optional through-loading system to the passenger compartment, the Z4 is able to accommodate a 46-inch full-size golf bag. When the roof is closed the luggage compartment easily accommodates up to four crates of large bottles or when using the through-loading system two 46-inch golf bags.

Various other storage compartments are designed into the interior. The new Z4 offers storage trays in the center console, a 10-liter glove box, hinged compartments in the doors, and additional space behind the seats.

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  #13  
Old 12-15-2008, 10:26 AM
TGrits10 TGrits10 is offline
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Originally Posted by pal View Post
As long as this does not mean that they will stop making coupes, I am quite indifferent to it as I am not a roadster person at all.
What he said.
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  #14  
Old 12-15-2008, 11:02 AM
reidconti reidconti is offline
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They should keep a low-end soft-top roadster. That is, if they were to sell a Z2 with a soft-top, I wouldn't care if some of you complained that you want a BIGGER roadster with a soft-top. But they should at least have one in the lineup.

Personally, though, when I think roadster, I think bare-bones and lightweight. I've always got my eye on getting a roadster and for some reason I always think S2000 and never think Z3 or Z4. The low-rent Honda stuff that I can't stand in an enclosed car makes so much sense in a roadster.

So... where's that Z2?
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Old 12-15-2008, 11:19 AM
stephenti stephenti is offline
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I would assume with a hardtop vert, that BMW would not be producing a coupe version. Wouldn't make sense to me, but you never know...
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  #16  
Old 12-15-2008, 11:25 AM
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If I were to get a convertible sports car (none of the ones we are talking about are really "roadsters") I'd get a used E85 Z4 M over the new one (M or not) in a heart beat. It's lighter, more nimble and compact, and designed to be a driver's car rather than a numbers-chaser. Not a single new BMW since 2004 has impressed upon me the sense of driving connectiveness that made me buy my first one. Note: The Z4 M is a pre-2004 car as far as I'm concerned because it shares nothing with the bangle-era BMWs but it's skin - it's a slimmed-down E46 M3! And this comes through in the driving sensation, relative to the other Bangled Ms.

If I want a coupe I'll buy a coupe. If I want the sun beating down on my head I'll buy a conventional ragtop and avoid the ridiculous weight and volumetric penalties of a folding hardtop. Save that for Mercedes.
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Old 12-15-2008, 11:28 AM
reidconti reidconti is offline
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Originally Posted by Palantirion@BMS View Post
(none of the ones we are talking about are really "roadsters")
Yawn.

Might as well remove the word from the dictionary then, Mr. Purist.
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Old 12-15-2008, 11:30 AM
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Yawn.

Might as well remove the word from the dictionary then, Mr. Purist.
-It's a slippery slope and I detest marketing department BS. For example, the SAV
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Old 12-15-2008, 11:35 AM
reidconti reidconti is offline
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I agree about marketing department BS; I call the X5 and X6 SUVs (well, maybe I call the X6 a weird pointless crossover thing), but I really don't see the point in trying to "save" the word roadster.

It's too much work to say "two-seat convertible with a folding soft-top" when you can just call it a roadster, knowing full well that there won't again be a serious volume car with no roof at all.

It's like insisting that your M Coupe or a Corvette isn't a sports car because it has a roof.

That said, I won't complain if someone wants to troll the M3 forum and tell them their cars aren't sports cars because they have a back seat; it's funny to see people get upset when you call their $75,000 car a "sporty coupe"
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Old 12-15-2008, 11:51 AM
MVF4Rider MVF4Rider is offline
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I'd like to see BMW try a targa...
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  #21  
Old 12-15-2008, 12:50 PM
sdbrandon sdbrandon is offline
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People are just afraid of change. They want to stay stuck in the mud with Impalas I guess.

Times are changing and BMW is changing to meet the needs of the customer. That's right the customer.

Their decisions are not based on a whim but customer requirements. If you disagree you fall out of line with mainstream buyers and are free to shop elsewhere.
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  #22  
Old 12-15-2008, 12:55 PM
Erhan Erhan is offline
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Originally Posted by Palantirion@BMS View Post
If I were to get a convertible sports car (none of the ones we are talking about are really "roadsters") I'd get a used E85 Z4 M over the new one (M or not) in a heart beat. It's lighter, more nimble and compact, and designed to be a driver's car rather than a numbers-chaser. Not a single new BMW since 2004 has impressed upon me the sense of driving connectiveness that made me buy my first one. Note: The Z4 M is a pre-2004 car as far as I'm concerned because it shares nothing with the bangle-era BMWs but it's skin - it's a slimmed-down E46 M3! And this comes through in the driving sensation, relative to the other Bangled Ms.

If I want a coupe I'll buy a coupe. If I want the sun beating down on my head I'll buy a conventional ragtop and avoid the ridiculous weight and volumetric penalties of a folding hardtop. Save that for Mercedes.
+1

There are only two things I liked about the new Z4: suspension stiffnes setting, and HDD nav instead of DVD.. But none of these can justify the huge weight increase... I'm glad that I got my MC, the last pure sports car from BMW...
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  #23  
Old 12-15-2008, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by amancuso View Post
OK... the title says it all.... The New Z4 looks awesome, but they lost me with that damn retractable hardtop.... it seriously does not belong on a roadster.. IMHO they ruined the 3 series with it, and I fear the 6 is next up for that treatment.

-Al.
I agree - I hate this trend.

Softtops are lighter, more compact, and when it rains, you get that nice pitter patter against the canvas.

They also take up much less space in the boot and top up or down, keep the car's center of gravity lower.

Stowing huge metal panels in the trunk (top down) seems counterproductive to good handling.

But, the new generation of convertible drivers have spoken and this is what they seem to want.

Pansies
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Last edited by EdCT; 12-15-2008 at 07:09 PM.
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  #24  
Old 12-15-2008, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by amancuso View Post
OK... the title says it all.... The New Z4 looks awesome, but they lost me with that damn retractable hardtop.... it seriously does not belong on a roadster.. IMHO they ruined the 3 series with it, and I fear the 6 is next up for that treatment.

-Al.
I agree which is why I grabbed a 135i ragtop last week.
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  #25  
Old 12-15-2008, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by sdbrandon View Post
People are just afraid of change. They want to stay stuck in the mud with Impalas I guess.

Times are changing and BMW is changing to meet the needs of the customer. That's right the customer.

Their decisions are not based on a whim but customer requirements. If you disagree you fall out of line with mainstream buyers and are free to shop elsewhere.
Not all changes are good. I don't like change just for the sake of change. BMW made mistakes, too. Why follow the so called "trend"? Why be a sheep?
The hardtop is a good idea only if it does not add weight compared to the roadster with a soft top.
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