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E89 Z4 (2009 - current)

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  #1  
Old 05-04-2009, 08:26 PM
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What do YOU want to know about the all-new Z4?

As an automotive journalist for Autoblog, I'm going to BMW's media launch of the all-new Z4 tomorrow (I'll also be in the audience during the live webcast/press conference on Wed AM). During the 2-day event, I will be driving all variants of the Z4, plus hanging out with the engineers and executives at BMW who worked behind-the-scenes on the development.

I always go to these launches with a bunch of my own questions... but this time I'd like to see what you guys -- the Z4 experts -- want to know. Post the question(s) in this thread, and I will ask the engineers/execs at BMW when I see them.

Ask away!

- Mike
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  #2  
Old 05-04-2009, 09:41 PM
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The usual stuff:

How much stiffer is it than the outgoing model.

Try and drive the "base" model with a six speed manual.

Is it possible we'll see a less expensive "soft top" model (now that the Z2 is rumored to be dead in the water).

Ed
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  #3  
Old 05-05-2009, 04:31 AM
Thrumcap Thrumcap is offline
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Why on earth they would build M versions of the X5 and X6 and not the Z4? Would love to hear an explanation for that....
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  #4  
Old 05-05-2009, 06:45 AM
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I'd like to know if they plan on filling the gap they've left at the bottom of the roadster price spectrum. The Z3 and old Z4 entry level prices were much lower than this new Z4 model, leaving many potential buyers without a BMW option.
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  #5  
Old 05-05-2009, 07:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thrumcap View Post
Why on earth they would build M versions of the X5 and X6 and not the Z4? Would love to hear an explanation for that....
That one will stop the dinner conversation.

- Mike
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  #6  
Old 05-05-2009, 01:30 PM
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What do they think about the Car and Driver review? the one that criticizes the driving dynamics of the new Z4.
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  #7  
Old 05-06-2009, 03:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EdCT View Post
Is it possible we'll see a less expensive "soft top" model (now that the Z2 is rumored to be dead in the water).

Ed
The most current rumor is that the reported death of the Z2 is a rumor. I think the death rumor came out on April 1st. There have since been a couple of reports that the Z2 is still on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emission View Post
As an automotive journalist for Autoblog, I'm going to BMW's media launch of the all-new Z4 tomorrow (I'll also be in the audience during the live webcast/press conference on Wed AM). During the 2-day event, I will be driving all variants of the Z4, plus hanging out with the engineers and executives at BMW who worked behind-the-scenes on the development.

I always go to these launches with a bunch of my own questions... but this time I'd like to see what you guys -- the Z4 experts -- want to know. Post the question(s) in this thread, and I will ask the engineers/execs at BMW when I see them.

Ask away!

- Mike
Just so you know I am green with envy right now!!
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  #8  
Old 05-07-2009, 09:43 AM
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I just got back after spending two days with the new Z4. All told, I put about 300 miles on the car (I drove all variants except the base 3.0 6MT!) with plenty of seat time from sea level to 8300 feet! I was sunburned and tired when I pulled into the hotel yesterday evening.

My article should be up Monday with tons of pics (I will post a link here). In the meantime, I will send a PM to each of you who asked questions with my replies (that is only fair).

- Mike
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  #9  
Old 05-11-2009, 11:56 AM
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Any update?
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  #10  
Old 05-11-2009, 12:14 PM
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Any update?
The article is scheduled to go live tomorrow (Wednesday at the latest). The Corvette ZR1 review pushed it out of today's slot.

- Mike
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  #11  
Old 05-13-2009, 09:01 AM
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It's live guys:

http://www.autoblog.com/2009/05/13/f...of-its-groove/

If you have questions... ask away.

- Mike
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  #12  
Old 05-13-2009, 09:58 AM
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Nice article. From my own limited experience driving the new Z, you appear to be dead on. I still don't see a golf bag fitting in the pass through if the top is down. If so, it would have to be a small diameter one.
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  #13  
Old 05-13-2009, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Z4luvr View Post
Nice article. From my own limited experience driving the new Z, you appear to be dead on. I still don't see a golf bag fitting in the pass through if the top is down. If so, it would have to be a small diameter one.
I didn't really have enough space to mention it in the story, but the trunk is horrible. I have an average-size camera bag, and I could barely get it in and out of the trunk when we stopped for photos (every 20 min or so). I eventually just threw it on the floor on the passenger side. There is no way a regular suitcase or golf bag would fit unless you put the roof up, placed the luggage in, and then retracted the top. The trunk is a joke...

- Mike
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  #14  
Old 05-13-2009, 10:21 AM
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One more thing... I really wanted to like the Z4.

After my drive, I made a list of the good things, and the bad (like I always do).

The list of good was long (20 things or so):

Design
Chassis strength
Vehicle balance
Stereo
Seating comfort
Outward visibility
Climate control
Ergonomics
Exhaust note
Engine power
Strong brakes
Build quality
Low wind in cabin
Excellent mirrors
Great dual-clutch tranny
Excellent 6-speed manual
Headlamps

The negative list was short:

Steering
Suspension Tuning
Price

The crappy thing is that the short list really kills it for the enthusiast.

- Mike
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  #15  
Old 05-13-2009, 11:08 AM
strider41 strider41 is offline
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Great review Mike. I haven't driven the Z4 yet but hope to soon. Many seem to think that the targeted market customers are the Boxster and MB SLK drivers. Based on what I've read and seen on the BMWNA site, I concluded that the target market is the MB SL buyer with the emphasis in the Z4 on speed/acceleration, luxury and comfort as opposed to performance suspension and handling. Another thought that occurred to me is that one can get comparable performance, comfort and luxury in a 335i E92/E93 for a lot less money and more space. Your review seems to confirm my conclusions. Thanks for the review.
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  #16  
Old 05-13-2009, 11:55 AM
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thanks for the review Mike.

I guess BMW is leaving plenty of room for an enthusiastic Z2, whether in performance or price. The new Z4 is gorgeous, and the MB/Jaguar owners now have a good alternative from Bavaria.
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  #17  
Old 05-13-2009, 01:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strider41 View Post
Great review Mike. I haven't driven the Z4 yet but hope to soon. Many seem to think that the targeted market customers are the Boxster and MB SLK drivers. Based on what I've read and seen on the BMWNA site, I concluded that the target market is the MB SL buyer with the emphasis in the Z4 on speed/acceleration, luxury and comfort as opposed to performance suspension and handling. Another thought that occurred to me is that one can get comparable performance, comfort and luxury in a 335i E92/E93 for a lot less money and more space. Your review seems to confirm my conclusions. Thanks for the review.
And the Ultimate Driving Machine continues its devolution to the Ultimate Poseur Machine (if it hasn't gotten there already).
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  #18  
Old 05-13-2009, 02:03 PM
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In doing my research... check this out (base prices, top of the line engines in each):

1996 BMW Z3 = $31,445
1996 BMW 328i = $36,410

2009 BMW Z4 sDrive35i = $45,750
2009 BMW 335i = $40,300

The original Z3 was designed to be a fun entry-level roadster (15 percent less expensive than the 3 Series). Today's Z4 is nearly 15 percent more expensive...

Or, the base price of the top-of-the-line 3 Series has gone up less than $4,000 while the Z Series has jumped by $14,000!

- Mike
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  #19  
Old 05-13-2009, 03:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emission View Post
In doing my research... check this out (base prices, top of the line engines in each):

1996 BMW Z3 = $31,445
1996 BMW 328i = $36,410

2009 BMW Z4 sDrive35i = $45,750
2009 BMW 335i = $40,300

The original Z3 was designed to be a fun entry-level roadster (15 percent less expensive than the 3 Series). Today's Z4 is nearly 15 percent more expensive...

Or, the base price of the top-of-the-line 3 Series has gone up less than $4,000 while the Z Series has jumped by $14,000!

- Mike
True, but there is a reason for this. The Z4 is moving up market, it is bigger and has a really expensive folding top. There needs to be room for the Z2. I am still not sure why they chose not call this the Z6. The other way of looking at it, this new Z4 is superior to the Z8 and costs $60k less....
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  #20  
Old 05-14-2009, 08:54 AM
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Nice write up and pics. Loving that Mojava color, closest to the old Sterling Gray. Oh, and I hate you!
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  #21  
Old 05-14-2009, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by mapezzul View Post
True, but there is a reason for this. The Z4 is moving up market, it is bigger and has a really expensive folding top. There needs to be room for the Z2. I am still not sure why they chose not call this the Z6. The other way of looking at it, this new Z4 is superior to the Z8 and costs $60k less....
I decide to look up the Z8 (since I know nothing about it).

wikipedia: The $128,000 car had an all aluminum chassis and body and used a 4.9 L (4941 cc) 32 valve V8, that developed 400 hp (294 kW) and 500 Nm (363 lb·ft). This engine was built by the BMW Motorsport subsidiary and was shared with the E39 M5. The engine was located behind the front axle in order to provide the car with 50/50 weight distribution. The factory claimed a 0 to 100 km/h (0 to 62.5 mph) time of 4.7 seconds; Motor Trend magazine achieved 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 4.2 seconds. Road and Track measured the car's lateral grip at .92. Car and Driver magazine also tested the car and found that it outperformed the contemporary benchmark Ferrari 360 Modena in three important performance categories: acceleration, handling, and braking.

So there, I don't think the new Z4 is superior to the Z8, not even close in terms of handling - from what I've heard.
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  #22  
Old 05-14-2009, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TMQ View Post
I decide to look up the Z8 (since I know nothing about it).

wikipedia: The $128,000 car had an all aluminum chassis and body and used a 4.9 L (4941 cc) 32 valve V8, that developed 400 hp (294 kW) and 500 Nm (363 lb·ft). This engine was built by the BMW Motorsport subsidiary and was shared with the E39 M5. The engine was located behind the front axle in order to provide the car with 50/50 weight distribution. The factory claimed a 0 to 100 km/h (0 to 62.5 mph) time of 4.7 seconds; Motor Trend magazine achieved 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 4.2 seconds. Road and Track measured the car's lateral grip at .92. Car and Driver magazine also tested the car and found that it outperformed the contemporary benchmark Ferrari 360 Modena in three important performance categories: acceleration, handling, and braking.

So there, I don't think the new Z4 is superior to the Z8, not even close in terms of handling - from what I've heard.

BMW did a lot of comparing the Z8 to the new Z4. They are about identical in size, and about the same in performance (even though the Z4 is down on horses, they are still within a few tenths to 60 mph).

- Mike
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  #23  
Old 05-14-2009, 05:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emission View Post
BMW did a lot of comparing the Z8 to the new Z4. They are about identical in size, and about the same in performance (even though the Z4 is down on horses, they are still within a few tenths to 60 mph).

- Mike
Thanks,

The comparison is reasonable and makes a lot of sense I tend to agree with it; the weight is even not that different. For half the price you get a car that is 9.5/10, granted you lose the exclusivity.

-M
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Old 05-14-2009, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Doc Holliday View Post
And the Ultimate Driving Machine continues its devolution to the Ultimate Poseur Machine (if it hasn't gotten there already).
I drove the Z4 30i today with MT and agree with your comment. See my review in a separate thread. I'm hoping the Z2 will emphasize sports car performance and handling over luxury.
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  #25  
Old 05-14-2009, 09:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwulffusa View Post
Nice write up and pics. Loving that Mojava color, closest to the old Sterling Gray. Oh, and I hate you!
You hate me for this...? You should see what I am doing in June.

Re the Z8 vs Z4 talk... Porsche's 959 was eclipsed by the 996 twin-turbo just 15 years after its heyday.

- Mike
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