Welcome to Bimmerfest -- The #1 Online Community for BMW related information! Please enjoy the discussion forums below and share your experiences with the 200,000 current, new and past BMW owners. The forums are broken out by car model and into other special interest sections such as BMW European Delivery and a special forum to voice your questions to the many BMW dealers on the site to assist our members!

Please follow the links below to help get you started!

Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > Z Series > E89 Z4 (2009 - current)

E89 Z4 (2009 - current)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 06-17-2011, 02:40 PM
Wavesofblue Wavesofblue is offline
Registered User
Location: Los Angeles County
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 4
Mein Auto: 2001 Z435is
Z435is Reality v. Myths

I have now had the opportunity to spend 2 months driving my Z435is. The automotive press is overly critical of the vehicle. I am basing my opinions on having been a Z4 owner for over 4 years (replaced my highly modified 2006 Z4 3.0si) and driving the car(s) on windy canyon roads on a nearly daily basis.

First off, the bad news. Yes, the Z4 35is (and I assume the 35i) have more understeer than one would expect and less precise steering and feedback than one needs to properly take the car on up and down the "twisty turny" roads at its real potential. However, unlike the suggestions in some of the more absurd automotive press, the car does not handle like a "front wheel drive sedan." I know this from experience. The car handles very well. Not as well as my road racing 06 Z43.0si, not as well as a Cayman S or Boxster S - but it's faster than all of them and far more comfortable to drive on a daily basis. In every possible way, it is a vstly superior vehicle to pre 2009 Z4s. The Z4 is also a vastly superior car to its competition from Porsche roadsters in every category but turning. In other good news.... how hard is this to fix? Uh, not very. I'm working on solutions to the handling issues that might include some or all of the following:

1. Dumping the RFTs on the 19" wheels and replacing them with better gripping tires;
2. Playing around with front and rear sway bars to loosen up the rear and get more traction in the front;
3. Slightly raking the car's stance noseward;
4. More aggressive springs - maybe H&Rs;
5. Looking for a way to make the steering feedback and dampening more accurate through re programming.

IF ANYONE HAS TRIED ANY OF THESE OR SOMETHING ELSE LET ME KNOW!

A lot of critiques of the 35is ignore the vehicle's chief virtue. It functions as a luxury car, a sports car, a top down roadster, a daily driver coupe and a GT. It's not the very best car in any of those categories but it is, out of the box, warts and all, excellent in all of them. There is simply nothing like it on the market and they can be had, brand spanking new, in the high 60K range absent tax and other add ons and fees.
Reply With Quote
Ads by Google
  #2  
Old 06-17-2011, 02:51 PM
darbyogill darbyogill is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: East LA
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 193
Mein Auto: '92 Saturn SL2
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wavesofblue View Post
A lot of critiques of the 35is ignore the vehicle's chief virtue. It functions as a luxury car, a sports car, a top down roadster, a daily driver coupe and a GT.
Yes, it is the ultimate compromise machine, and I definitely felt this when I drove it. But unlike you, I don't consider this a virtue. Having owned a Z4 3.0si and M Coupe, I was hoping for something a little more focused, something with a few more exposed edges. Instead we have a slightly sportier SLK. BMW thought they would expand the market for the car by softening it. Thankfully it's sold every bit as poorly as the previous generation. Hopefully the next Z4 and the Z2 will go back to the previous formula.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by rsgl View Post
darbyogill, how deep is your deep throat?
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-17-2011, 03:35 PM
Wavesofblue Wavesofblue is offline
Registered User
Location: Los Angeles County
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 4
Mein Auto: 2001 Z435is
Reality v Myths

With all respect, I must disagree. Go ahead and drive a pre 2009 Z4si 400 miles and tell me that the new Z4 is a " compromise." Multi role capability is a virtue - in everything from military small arms to combat jets to cars. Also, if you drove the car you had to note that the power train was already - out of the box - the master of any car in its class. The 7 DCT is already a parctical match for Porsche's vaunted PDK tranny. By the way, don't jump to the conclusion that the handling flaws were a marketing notion by BMW to expand sales. A lot of it has to do with the fact that the 35is makes a helluva lot of torque and the handling issues are likely the result of rushing the car to market before refining the chasis and suspension. But again, it is my belief that all of the weak spots can be polished by just getting the front end to stick down a bit better. As I said - not an insurmountable challenge.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-17-2011, 04:56 PM
SANguru SANguru is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Bay Area, CA
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 606
Mein Auto: '13 M5, 08 E93 M3, F430
The 35is wil be one of my "cheaper" track cars.. Planning to just throw some Pirelli Trofeos or Pilot Sport Cups, HR springs and upgrade pads and fluid. It wasn't as bad as what the media described it to be when I took it for a spirited drive through the hills. Understeer can be dialed out.
__________________
2013 M5
2014 X5 xDrive 50i M Sport
2005 Ferrari F430
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06-17-2011, 05:26 PM
Wavesofblue Wavesofblue is offline
Registered User
Location: Los Angeles County
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 4
Mein Auto: 2001 Z435is
Myths / Reality

First off...man...you have a nice collection! Anyhow, I agree the RFTs are the single biggest problem with a car already balanced towards understeer. But looking at your tire choices I think you could save money on tires. I agree with you 100% about the H&R springs. I am not sure why you want to upgrade pads and fluid. The stock braking system seems good to go as is. Have you noticed something I have missed? If so, please tell me. By the way, if I were going with upgrading the braking system I'd also likely use all steel brake lines. I think you can also change the camber of the front tires and tighten up the rear sway bars for low cost.

I dont know if you have thought about engine upgrades. I am considering the Dinan flash to take the car up a notch. But frankly, until I get the understeer out of the car and have a better feeling of the road I dont see any reason adding 50 horses. I like the expression "always adjust the driver before the car" in that respect. Supposedly with the Dinan phase 2 upgrade the car will do 0-60 in under 4 seconds. Now youre gonna need some new brakes!
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 06-17-2011, 05:33 PM
HerrK's Avatar
HerrK HerrK is online now
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: CA
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 588
Mein Auto: 2011 Z4 35i
Quote:
Originally Posted by darbyogill View Post
Hopefully the next Z4 and the Z2 will go back to the previous formula.
Z2

BMW Z2: Concept in detail

The Z2 is a two-seater and Munich product planners are considering coupe and soft-top roadster versions. Based on the UKL1 front-drive transverse architecture, standing for untere klasse in German. It's at the core of BMW's plans to become more efficient at making small cars. Power for the new UKL1 front-drive BMWs comes from three- and four-cylinder engines, spinning the front wheels. The Z2 is pencilled in for a launch in 2016, at around £20,000-£25,000. That's top-end MX-5 territory, nudging into Audi TT ground.
__________________


HerrK - Keine Eifelfahrt ohne eine Runde über den Nürburgring

May 2010 ED l 2011 35i l Crimson over Ext'd Coral Red w/brushed Alum l 6sp MT l Prem Sound l Sport Pack l 296's l Comfort Access l Alarm l Power Heated Seats l & Nav.
FrauK - 2014 Q5 TDI - May 2014 ED | Cuvée Silver over Pistachio beige | Premim Plus | MMI | Nav | B&O
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06-17-2011, 05:46 PM
SANguru SANguru is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Bay Area, CA
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 606
Mein Auto: '13 M5, 08 E93 M3, F430
tires make the single most significant difference in lap times. I was quite a bit faster having the Trofeos on the F430 at Thunderhill and we're talking a couple secs. The F430 understeers on slow turns too but the stickier tires completely took that out of the equation. As for brakes, My brakes were always glowing with stock pads and fluids on any BMW include my old E46 M3 and the E60 m5 on the track. Pads, fluids and steel braided brakes lines solved a lot of that. I typically go through tires in about 3-4 track days and it's the price you pay for having fun..

as for power upgrades I will stick with the proven method on all N54's... JB4 with meth injection and DCI.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wavesofblue View Post
First off...man...you have a nice collection! Anyhow, I agree the RFTs are the single biggest problem with a car already balanced towards understeer. But looking at your tire choices I think you could save money on tires. I agree with you 100% about the H&R springs. I am not sure why you want to upgrade pads and fluid. The stock braking system seems good to go as is. Have you noticed something I have missed? If so, please tell me. By the way, if I were going with upgrading the braking system I'd also likely use all steel brake lines. I think you can also change the camber of the front tires and tighten up the rear sway bars for low cost.

I dont know if you have thought about engine upgrades. I am considering the Dinan flash to take the car up a notch. But frankly, until I get the understeer out of the car and have a better feeling of the road I dont see any reason adding 50 horses. I like the expression "always adjust the driver before the car" in that respect. Supposedly with the Dinan phase 2 upgrade the car will do 0-60 in under 4 seconds. Now youre gonna need some new brakes!
__________________
2013 M5
2014 X5 xDrive 50i M Sport
2005 Ferrari F430

Last edited by SANguru; 06-17-2011 at 05:49 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 06-25-2011, 01:15 AM
chefrara chefrara is offline
Registered User
Location: Los Angeles, CA
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 5
Mein Auto: z4 35is
I've had my 35is for about a month now, and I love it.
But I do wish the car lost a few pounds. I guess there probably were mechanical reasons, but I found the hood and the trunk to be too damn heavy. I took the car up the canyon roads here in LA, and I just wished the car weighed 80-100 lbs lighter. Otherwise, I do agree with most of your reasoning. I think for a roadster, the car has decent sized trunk (which I happen to appreciate), and the luxury/comfort elements are few more reasons why I love getting in the car every morning.

- J
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 06-28-2011, 06:23 AM
OZ4 OZ4 is offline
Registered User
Location: USA
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 27
Mein Auto: Z4 35is
I love this car .My last car was a Z51 C6 vette , yes it was faster the weight was 300 lbs lighter and stuck the road like glue ….BUT I would not go back to a vette after driving this car .I'm just fine with the way the car handles and rides . But Im not on a track or racing either ,not my thing
__________________

Welcome To Maryland

Last edited by OZ4; 06-28-2011 at 06:35 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 06-28-2011, 09:40 AM
BlueZ4AZ BlueZ4AZ is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Chandler, AZ
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 322
Mein Auto: 2009 Z4 sDrive 35i
Quote:
Originally Posted by OZ4 View Post
I love this car .My last car was a Z51 C6 vette , yes it was faster the weight was 300 lbs lighter and stuck the road like glue …...BUT I would not go back to a vette after driving this car .I'm just fine with the way the car handles and rides . But Im not on a track or racing either ,not my thing
My previous car to my 35i was also a Corvette (2007 Coupe with the Z51 Option)

Quality of interior fit and finish, exterior paint and DCT all advantages over the Corvette.

To me the 35i "feels like" it weighs LIGHTER than the Corvette.

Last edited by BlueZ4AZ; 06-28-2011 at 09:42 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 06-28-2011, 12:01 PM
vivek_v_rane vivek_v_rane is offline
Viv1
Location: NoCal
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 208
Mein Auto: Twin Turbo 3er
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefrara View Post
I've had my 35is for about a month now, and I love it.
But I do wish the car lost a few pounds. I guess there probably were mechanical reasons, but I found the hood and the trunk to be too damn heavy. I took the car up the canyon roads here in LA, and I just wished the car weighed 80-100 lbs lighter. Otherwise, I do agree with most of your reasoning. I think for a roadster, the car has decent sized trunk (which I happen to appreciate), and the luxury/comfort elements are few more reasons why I love getting in the car every morning.

- J
I suppose you could make it lighter by using plastic body panels like the vette :P
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 06-28-2011, 01:23 PM
OZ4 OZ4 is offline
Registered User
Location: USA
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 27
Mein Auto: Z4 35is
Quote:
Originally Posted by vivek_v_rane View Post
I suppose you could make it lighter by using plastic body panels like the vette :P
You could and maybe they should if you want a lighter car
__________________

Welcome To Maryland
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 06-28-2011, 02:16 PM
BlueZ4AZ BlueZ4AZ is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Chandler, AZ
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 322
Mein Auto: 2009 Z4 sDrive 35i
Fiberglass:

Positive - weight savings
Negative - structural rigitidy
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 06-28-2011, 03:03 PM
OZ4 OZ4 is offline
Registered User
Location: USA
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 27
Mein Auto: Z4 35is
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueZ4AZ View Post
Fiberglass:

Positive - weight savings
Negative - structural rigitidy
Well it's not fiberglass thats old school either way thin sheet metal or plastic is just a facade .
__________________

Welcome To Maryland
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 06-28-2011, 04:24 PM
SANguru SANguru is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Bay Area, CA
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 606
Mein Auto: '13 M5, 08 E93 M3, F430
Quote:
Originally Posted by vivek_v_rane View Post
I suppose you could make it lighter by using plastic body panels like the vette :P
well you know the 335i coupe had plastic fenders/quarter panels right?
__________________
2013 M5
2014 X5 xDrive 50i M Sport
2005 Ferrari F430
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 06-28-2011, 10:19 PM
chefrara chefrara is offline
Registered User
Location: Los Angeles, CA
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 5
Mein Auto: z4 35is
Not to keep dwelling on the matter, but I had my car weighed today while waiting to be serviced. The gross weight was north of 4100 lbs !! Egad !

Curb weight was 3641 lbs. Tsk tsk.

I still very much love the car though.

- J


p.s. z4 35is w/ sport package (19" wheels, etc), no navi, but comfort access.

Last edited by chefrara; 06-28-2011 at 10:24 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 06-29-2011, 04:20 AM
OZ4 OZ4 is offline
Registered User
Location: USA
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 27
Mein Auto: Z4 35is
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefrara View Post
Not to keep dwelling on the matter, but I had my car weighed today while waiting to be serviced. The gross weight was north of 4100 lbs !! Egad !

Curb weight was 3641 lbs. Tsk tsk.

I still very much love the car though.

- J


p.s. z4 35is w/ sport package (19" wheels, etc), no navi, but comfort access.
I think It's a great car, It's just a fun car to drive
__________________

Welcome To Maryland
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 06-29-2011, 08:16 AM
BlueZ4AZ BlueZ4AZ is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Chandler, AZ
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 322
Mein Auto: 2009 Z4 sDrive 35i
Quote:
Originally Posted by OZ4 View Post
Well it's not fiberglass thats old school either way thin sheet metal or plastic is just a facade .
Well....
Jungles are now called Rain Forests
Bumbs are now called The Homeless
Junkies are now called Drug Addicts
Idiots are now The Mentally Challenged

SMC is just another form of Fiberglass, but since the term "SMC" sounds more high tech, GM started using that term.
SMC panels are formed by a high-pressure mold compressing a mix of fiberglass, resin, catalyst and release agent.

I'm still calling it what it is.....Fiberglass.

I like all the 60's terms.

Last edited by BlueZ4AZ; 06-29-2011 at 11:59 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 06-29-2011, 09:53 AM
OZ4 OZ4 is offline
Registered User
Location: USA
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 27
Mein Auto: Z4 35is
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueZ4AZ View Post
Well....
Jungles are now called Rain Forests
Bumbs are now called The Homeless
Junkies are now called Drug Addicts
Idiots are now The Mentally Challenged

SMC is just another form of Fiberglass, but since the term "SMC" sounds more high tech, GM started using that term.

I'm still calling it what it is.....Fiberglass.

I like all the 60's terms.
__________________

Welcome To Maryland
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 06-29-2011, 10:20 AM
EdCT's Avatar
EdCT EdCT is offline
zeddy
Location: Connecticut
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 7,358
Mein Auto: '06 330cic ZHP / '07 M35x
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueZ4AZ View Post
Fiberglass:

Positive - weight savings
Negative - structural rigitidy
Fiberglass isn't used in the structure at all, neither in Corvettes nor in the new BMW's where it's used for fenders.

Carbon fiber is lighter and stronger than just about anything else on the market today. We could make our cars lighter, stronger, safer and more fuel efficient, by a wide margin.

Of course, it's also expensive, and while I'd support a government subsidy for its use (anything to ween us off foreign oil), the steel industry would go bonkers.

So, cb remains a dream .... for now.
__________________

2000 Mercedes Benz E320 (daily driver)
2007 Infiniti M35x (wife's)
2006 330 cic ZHP 6sp (current)
2005 Z4 3.0 sp nav x-leather (retired)
2000 323i PP (best car, ever - retired)
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 06-29-2011, 11:12 AM
BlueZ4AZ BlueZ4AZ is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Chandler, AZ
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 322
Mein Auto: 2009 Z4 sDrive 35i
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdCT View Post
Fiberglass isn't used in the structure at all, neither in Corvettes nor in the new BMW's where it's used for fenders.
See Post #18
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 06-29-2011, 01:15 PM
EdCT's Avatar
EdCT EdCT is offline
zeddy
Location: Connecticut
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 7,358
Mein Auto: '06 330cic ZHP / '07 M35x
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueZ4AZ View Post
See Post #18
So

Post 18 doesn't address the structural issue at all - it's just you making a funny.

Fiberglass can be used successfully in non-structural roles in car manufacturing. In fact, it is and has been, as was pointed out.

I'm not sure I agree that a fiberglass chassis or tub cannot be made as strong, or stronger than a steel one. It's not necessarily the material itself, but how its engineered into a structure.
__________________

2000 Mercedes Benz E320 (daily driver)
2007 Infiniti M35x (wife's)
2006 330 cic ZHP 6sp (current)
2005 Z4 3.0 sp nav x-leather (retired)
2000 323i PP (best car, ever - retired)
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 06-29-2011, 01:33 PM
BlueZ4AZ BlueZ4AZ is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Chandler, AZ
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 322
Mein Auto: 2009 Z4 sDrive 35i
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdCT View Post
So

Post 18 doesn't address the structural issue at all - it's just you making a funny.

Fiberglass can be used successfully in non-structural roles in car manufacturing. In fact, it is and has been, as was pointed out.

I'm not sure I agree that a fiberglass chassis or tub cannot be made as strong, or stronger than a steel one. It's not necessarily the material itself, but how its engineered into a structure.
I am referring to the fiberglass body panels on the Corvette.

If I parked it at any more than a 5% incline/decline or side/side with the Corvette, when I got back to the car, the doors literally would not close 100% flush for a day or so. The panels would shift that much.

Going over potholes, the Corvette just did not seem as solid as the Z4. It almost felt as though the body panels were not adhered to the frame 100%.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 06-29-2011, 01:43 PM
EdCT's Avatar
EdCT EdCT is offline
zeddy
Location: Connecticut
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 7,358
Mein Auto: '06 330cic ZHP / '07 M35x
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueZ4AZ View Post
I am referring to the fiberglass body panels on the Corvette.

If I parked it at any more than a 5% incline/decline or side/side with the Corvette, when I got back to the car, the doors literally would not close 100% flush for a day or so. The panels would shift that much.

Going over potholes, the Corvette just did not seem as solid as the Z4. It almost felt as though the body panels were not adhered to the frame 100%.
That's a function of the structure. The corvette (at least the newest ones) have a space frame made of steel and aluminum - the entire structure of the car is supported by it. The fiberglas body has no structural function, it's purely cosmetic - the panels bolt on.

If you had a late model vette with this level of flimsiness in the structure, I'm truly surprised, almost no modern convertible I know of does this.

Now, when I was a kid in the 70's, if you drove an Alfa, MGB, Triumph etc., those cars were a different story - you could actually see the entire windshield move side to side at pedestrian road speeds - that and you never parked on a curb as the doors wouldn't function properly

Btw, your Z4 will feel more solid than most any convertible on the road because it's engineered to be that way - it's not a matter of steel vs fiberglass, it's the engineering that goes into the structure - you get what you pay for, and a Z4 is much more rigidly built than a Corvette.
__________________

2000 Mercedes Benz E320 (daily driver)
2007 Infiniti M35x (wife's)
2006 330 cic ZHP 6sp (current)
2005 Z4 3.0 sp nav x-leather (retired)
2000 323i PP (best car, ever - retired)
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 06-29-2011, 02:55 PM
BlueZ4AZ BlueZ4AZ is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Chandler, AZ
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 322
Mein Auto: 2009 Z4 sDrive 35i
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdCT View Post
That's a function of the structure. The corvette (at least the newest ones) have a space frame made of steel and aluminum - the entire structure of the car is supported by it. The fiberglas body has no structural function, it's purely cosmetic - the panels bolt on.

If you had a late model vette with this level of flimsiness in the structure, I'm truly surprised, almost no modern convertible I know of does this.

Now, when I was a kid in the 70's, if you drove an Alfa, MGB, Triumph etc., those cars were a different story - you could actually see the entire windshield move side to side at pedestrian road speeds - that and you never parked on a curb as the doors wouldn't function properly

Btw, your Z4 will feel more solid than most any convertible on the road because it's engineered to be that way - it's not a matter of steel vs fiberglass, it's the engineering that goes into the structure - you get what you pay for, and a Z4 is much more rigidly built than a Corvette.
Thanks for the clarification.

Back in 2008 - 2009 when I told the Chevy Serrvice Mgr that the doors on my 2007 C6 didin't close flush after I parked on any kind of an angle, his response was, " That's just the nature of the fiberglass panels"

Last edited by BlueZ4AZ; 06-29-2011 at 02:58 PM.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Forum Navigation
Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > Z Series > E89 Z4 (2009 - current)
Today's Posts Search
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:17 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
© 2001-2011 performanceIX, Inc. All Rights Reserved .: guidelines .:. privacy .:. terms