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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 11-24-2009, 03:40 PM
MPowerLvr MPowerLvr is offline
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Z4 Madeira Walnut interior Trim

Hi all,

This probably sounds like a really dumb question, but is the "Madeira walnut wood trim" option real wood? I am looking at a Z4 M Coupe that has that option, but when I sit in the car, and tap on the trim, it feels/sounds/looks like Plastic to me, like the fake plastic bits that are used too often in the interior of cheaper Chevy/Chrysler products.

I would assume that a premium brand like BMW would use "REAL" wood, not simulated wood trim, but it feels more like plastic of cheap cars, than say the wood trim that you find in premium japanese brands like Infiniti.

The reason I wonder is that BMW offers vinyl interiors in addition to real leather, which really surprised me when I first found out. Even KIA doesn't cheap out that much.

Thanks in advance.

Ted
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  #2  
Old 11-24-2009, 03:46 PM
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aestheticstorm aestheticstorm is offline
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Yep, it's real. Just heavily finished.
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  #3  
Old 11-24-2009, 04:09 PM
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Jakked Jakked is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MPowerLvr View Post
The reason I wonder is that BMW offers vinyl interiors in addition to real leather, which really surprised me when I first found out. Even KIA doesn't cheap out that much.

Thanks in advance.

Ted
1) the wood is real

2) part of the reason BMW started offering "leatherette" was to give an option to those people who have the $$$ to buy BMW quality, but object to sitting on dead animal skins.

3) KIA does cheap out that much.
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Old 11-24-2009, 04:56 PM
MPowerLvr MPowerLvr is offline
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thanks for the responses so far.

Based on comments from the seller, I am not the first person to ask that question about the trim panels ! A friend checking out the car with me also wondered. I suspected the seller would tell me it was real wood even if it was not, so it's best to ask people here who might know. It's hard to explain in words, but when you tap on the real wood trim of some other higher end cars, it feels more dense somehow, less like plastic.

I'd think they would at least try and go with a finish that makes it feel like wood.

It's like wrapping the wheel in real leather, but giving it a finish so everyone who touches it is convinced it is vinyl (sorry, "leatherette" or "mbtex" ).


Maybe I'm older than most who post here, but I remember back in the early-mid 70's when a lot of cars had vinyl interiors, and cloth seats were considered a premium upgrade, and leather was even harder to find and better than that. I guess I'm old fashioned, but for BMW to offer vinyl instead of cloth for folks who don't want leather is bizarre to me.


Anyway, I'm still torn about it; I can't help but think that if most people who see/touch it think it is plastic, then it doesn't matter if it really is wood, the designer has failed.
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  #5  
Old 11-24-2009, 06:30 PM
car62 car62 is offline
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It's probably a thin layer of walnut veneer over a plastic piece. Of course it's not solid wood. Anyway what's the point? If you don't like the car, don't buy it. Or see if some aftermarket companies have trim kits like carbon fiber pieces. They were very popular for the E46.

Here you go. Hook up with this guy and you're good.
http://www.zpost.com/forums/showthread.php?t=289467

Last edited by car62; 11-24-2009 at 06:55 PM.
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  #6  
Old 11-24-2009, 08:53 PM
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Jakked Jakked is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MPowerLvr View Post
I remember back in the early-mid 70's when a lot of cars had vinyl interiors, and cloth seats were considered a premium upgrade, and leather was even harder to find and better than that. I guess I'm old fashioned, but for BMW to offer vinyl instead of cloth for folks who don't want leather is bizarre to me.
i think the leatherette is a decent option for those who want the look of leather--honestly some of the cheap auto leathers out there are cut so thinly they won't stand up nearly as well as BMW's leatherette, imo.

at least BMW isn't charging a premium for the vinyl
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Old 11-24-2009, 09:08 PM
blau335 blau335 is offline
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FYI, if you are looking to get one soon, look for a car with the carbon fiber cloth trim as well. If you buy a car with that trim I will trade you my wood trim for the carbon leather trim.

It will probably easily double the amount of cars you could look at.
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Old 11-24-2009, 09:31 PM
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aestheticstorm aestheticstorm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by car62 View Post
It's probably a thin layer of walnut veneer over a plastic piece
By looking into the small gap between the stereo and the wood, it looks like a pretty thick piece of wood to me
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  #9  
Old 11-25-2009, 07:33 AM
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Zuzax Zuzax is offline
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  #10  
Old 11-25-2009, 08:01 AM
courtier courtier is offline
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Many years ago I worked as a lot attendant for a local Volvo stealership. (Hey, I was in high school and I got work and play with cars -- what was not to like?) Anyway, back in the day Volvo had a two-seater coupe at the top of their line (the 780) and there was an option for a wood dash. But the dash pieces actually used *SOLID* wood. I know this because one customer actually ordered a replacement set when something went afoul with the originally installed ones. I saw the kit when it came into the shop. The pieces were solid wood over an inch thick. There was one piece about a foot long for the passenger side and a much smaller piece for the driver's side, maybe 6 inches long or so. (So the setup is not unlike what is in our Z4's.) Well, the cost -- and mind you this is in early 1990's $$ -- was $1800! So say all you want about veneer, but imagine if the option in our cars cost $3500? (Disclaimer: I am the proud owner of a 2004 Merlot 3.0 with beige interior and wood dash.)
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