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E89 Z4 (2009 - current)

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  #1  
Old 04-15-2013, 02:53 PM
Rob Mc Rob Mc is offline
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Does Z4 get a bad rap on Handling?

I have a 2004 330Ci, M package w 6 speed manual (225 hp, 215 torque, 3,700 lbs). Car is slow off the line but once it hits its power band it moves and with 49/51 weight ratio it is well balanced. Corners great - off ramps at 80mph in dry conditions are fun not scary. Always regreted not having a bit more power.

Looking at the new Z4 28i or 35i. Like the increase in preformance but have seen review on line that trash the cars handling (esp when going against the Boxer S). Is this a bad rap or are the reviewers on to something?

Would appreciate some feed back on what I can expect in handling vs my current car and thoughts on the 28i vs 35i

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 04-15-2013, 07:04 PM
jparnes1 jparnes1 is offline
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It's an awesome car. Bear in mind when you're talking about cars at this level, the differences are subtle. So, it depends on what you're going to do with the car. If you're planning to track it, a Boxster will handle better. But for non-track driving, you'll be very happy, especially if you get the M sport package. Very tight steering, holds corners beautifully, stiff suspension (adjustable) but comfortable enough to drive all day. And it's the best looking roadster out there, period. No regrets here. Go for it!
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  #3  
Old 04-16-2013, 12:08 AM
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rafale rafale is offline
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I would say it is comfortable only if you get rid of those RFTs...
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  #4  
Old 04-16-2013, 06:16 AM
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I personally believe that you get quite a bit of understeer when cornering during spirited driving. I do not track my vehicle, but I do live in the mountains of Colorado and have the opportunity to drive on twisty roads a lot. There is just something about it that feels like it wants to push off the outer corner of a turn. During daily driving it is a great vehicle and quite comfortable. I am getting ready to sell mine when I order a new 435i, but if it weren't for the new car I would be more than happy to keep my current one.
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  #5  
Old 04-16-2013, 06:50 AM
Rob Mc Rob Mc is offline
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Thanks. Thoughts @ 28i vs 35i re handling? Salesman suggests the N20 as the engine is @ 300lbs less and sits behind the front axle... but heavy car and 4 cylinders give me pause to think.
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  #6  
Old 04-16-2013, 07:21 PM
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HerrK HerrK is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Mc View Post
I have a 2004 330Ci, M package w 6 speed manual (225 hp, 215 torque, 3,700 lbs). Car is slow off the line but once it hits its power band it moves and with 49/51 weight ratio it is well balanced. Corners great - off ramps at 80mph in dry conditions are fun not scary. Always regreted not having a bit more power.

Looking at the new Z4 28i or 35i. Like the increase in preformance but have seen review on line that trash the cars handling (esp when going against the Boxer S). Is this a bad rap or are the reviewers on to something?

Would appreciate some feed back on what I can expect in handling vs my current car and thoughts on the 28i vs 35i

Thanks!
The Z4 RFT's, especially, in Frt magnify the understeer. The F & R RFT's in combination make for a jittery car over sharp pavement breaks, due to the stiff sidwalls. Replace the RFT's with Michelin Pilot Super Spors or other top quality summer tire and those problems are gone. A Z4 28i will be substancially less than the Boxster, better looking, and much more practical - IMO and speaking from experience on the tires.
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  #7  
Old 04-16-2013, 08:46 PM
jparnes1 jparnes1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HerrK View Post
The Z4 RFT's, especially, in Frt magnify the understeer. The F & R RFT's in combination make for a jittery car over sharp pavement breaks, due to the stiff sidwalls. Replace the RFT's with Michelin Pilot Super Spors or other top quality summer tire and those problems are gone. A Z4 28i will be substancially less than the Boxster, better looking, and much more practical - IMO and speaking from experience on the tires.
+1 on ditching the RFT's. It's a totally different car.
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  #8  
Old 04-19-2013, 03:00 PM
Rob Mc Rob Mc is offline
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Any luck getting dealer to swap off RFTs? Would you need different rims? What is Pure Traction special equipment package? I just saw it on BMW's site but they are very vague about what it is...
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  #9  
Old 04-20-2013, 10:44 AM
jparnes1 jparnes1 is offline
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I swapped out my RFT's for regular tires at delivery. No new rims needed. Just bring the tires you want in advance and they'll do it for you. Didnt' even charge me. Then post your RFT's in the classifieds and sell 'em!
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  #10  
Old 05-23-2013, 11:30 AM
MickOpalak MickOpalak is offline
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I'd like to reduce the understeer as much as possible. I've thought of two possible ways to do this:
1) sway bars - reduce the size of the front sway bar and increase the size of the rear sway bar
2) alignment - I would add a bit of negative camber up front, add a little bit of toe out up front and a little bit of toe in in the rear.

What do you guys think?
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  #11  
Old 05-23-2013, 01:39 PM
williakz williakz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MickOpalak View Post
I'd like to reduce the understeer as much as possible. I've thought of two possible ways to do this:
1) sway bars - reduce the size of the front sway bar and increase the size of the rear sway bar
2) alignment - I would add a bit of negative camber up front, add a little bit of toe out up front and a little bit of toe in in the rear.

What do you guys think?
A local indy that does BMW work says he takes out at least half the negative camber in the rear. He says a number of Z-ers instruct him to do so. They tell him the handling is much improved. I haven't asked him about toe-in/toe-out, but I will. Of course, the RFTs must go before anything can be done. Interesting area of inquiry compared to intercoolers, downpipes, ECU maps, etc.

Last edited by williakz; 05-23-2013 at 01:40 PM.
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  #12  
Old 06-04-2013, 04:01 PM
MJK Z435IS MJK Z435IS is offline
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What if you get a flat? The Z4 has no spare or inflation kit. Are the run flats really that bad, my GF has them on her 2012 - 128 and I love the piece of mind when she is out by herself. What do the RF's do so different?? my new 2014 Z435Is is coming with them - $73,850.00 and I have to bring 4 tires with me???
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  #13  
Old 06-04-2013, 04:35 PM
williakz williakz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MJK Z435IS View Post
What if you get a flat? The Z4 has no spare or inflation kit. Are the run flats really that bad, my GF has them on her 2012 - 128 and I love the piece of mind when she is out by herself. What do the RF's do so different?? my new 2014 Z435Is is coming with them - $73,850.00 and I have to bring 4 tires with me???
75 grand on a 2-seat car and you can't figure out what to do when you get a flat? Hint, it begins with a cell phone and ends with the valet bringing your keys to your table. What, do they sell these cars to just anyone?
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  #14  
Old 06-04-2013, 04:44 PM
MJK Z435IS MJK Z435IS is offline
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Ok "Alabama" read and understand!! the post.
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  #15  
Old 06-04-2013, 05:14 PM
williakz williakz is offline
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Got one, finally. I knew you'd come through...
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  #16  
Old 06-05-2013, 05:32 AM
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rdkind62 rdkind62 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MJK Z435IS View Post
What if you get a flat? The Z4 has no spare or inflation kit. Are the run flats really that bad, my GF has them on her 2012 - 128 and I love the piece of mind when she is out by herself. What do the RF's do so different?? my new 2014 Z435Is is coming with them - $73,850.00 and I have to bring 4 tires with me???
The tires aren't that bad for everyday driving, but if you try to push its limits you will get quite a bit of understeer. Providing of course that you got the summer performance tires. If you got the all-seasons then they seem a little harsh over bumps and even a little more understeer when pushing it.
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  #17  
Old 06-05-2013, 08:25 AM
jparnes1 jparnes1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MJK Z435IS View Post
What if you get a flat? The Z4 has no spare or inflation kit. Are the run flats really that bad, my GF has them on her 2012 - 128 and I love the piece of mind when she is out by herself. What do the RF's do so different?? my new 2014 Z435Is is coming with them - $73,850.00 and I have to bring 4 tires with me???
Go over one pot hole and get your teeth rattled and then you'll see what's so bad about them. It's like you have no shock absorbers. Truly uncomfortable.
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  #18  
Old 06-09-2013, 06:31 PM
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Does Z4 get a bad rap on Handling?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MJK Z435IS View Post
What if you get a flat? The Z4 has no spare or inflation kit. Are the run flats really that bad, my GF has them on her 2012 - 128 and I love the piece of mind when she is out by herself. What do the RF's do so different?? my new 2014 Z435Is is coming with them - $73,850.00 and I have to bring 4 tires with me???
I put on Conti Extreme DWS. Love them. I bought the M Mobility kit in case of a nail. Sidewall blowout? I call a flat bed.


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  #19  
Old 06-09-2013, 08:44 PM
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Does Z4 get a bad rap on Handling?

Plus almost all of us have roadside assistance. BMW will come out and they'll bring our spare!
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  #20  
Old 06-10-2013, 05:03 AM
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Originally Posted by MickOpalak View Post
I'd like to reduce the understeer as much as possible.
alignment - I would add a bit of negative camber up front, add a little bit of toe out up front and a little bit of toe in in the rear.

What do you guys think?
I think that's a great idea... for track or autocross use.

For the street though, solving one problem creates others. Front toe-out definitely helps initial turn in, but the car will not hold a straight line in normal driving. It will become "darty", as every bump or dip will make the wheel turn away from center, and you will tire of chasing it all the time. Also, excess toe in or out will decrease fuel mileage.

I would use a small amount of toe-in at both ends for stability.

In highway driving, adding a degree or more of negative camber will make the tire roll mostly on its inside 1/4 of tread, accelerating wear.

If most of your driving is on twisty roads or if you get tires are free, go for it. Otherwise I would take small steps until you find a setting that works best for you.
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  #21  
Old 06-10-2013, 05:40 AM
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WillInDenver WillInDenver is online now
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Does Z4 get a bad rap on Handling?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Mc View Post
Thanks. Thoughts @ 28i vs 35i re handling? Salesman suggests the N20 as the engine is @ 300lbs less and sits behind the front axle... but heavy car and 4 cylinders give me pause to think.
I think you're already looking to make a move to get more power. If you buy the N20, you'll be second guessing the decision.
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  #22  
Old 06-10-2013, 07:16 AM
iamthewalrus iamthewalrus is online now
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Originally Posted by Rob Mc View Post
But heavy car and 4 cylinders give me pause to think.
But this is a 4-cylinder turbo with more power and more torque than the inline six in my 2006 BMW X3. And it weighs less too! I've never found my X3 to be under powered, but I'm also not afraid to ring it out to red line in 2-3-4 when necessary.

I've driven a 335xi on the autobahn over ~2 weeks with a friend on European Delivery. It was amazing! But in the US, you'll never be able to use that kind of power unless you take it out on a track. So, you can get to 65mph in second gear... and then what? Seems more frustrating than fun given our low speed limits.

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  #23  
Old 06-13-2013, 09:48 AM
mojoman mojoman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Mc View Post
I have a 2004 330Ci, M package w 6 speed manual (225 hp, 215 torque, 3,700 lbs). Car is slow off the line but once it hits its power band it moves and with 49/51 weight ratio it is well balanced. Corners great - off ramps at 80mph in dry conditions are fun not scary. Always regreted not having a bit more power.

Looking at the new Z4 28i or 35i. Like the increase in preformance but have seen review on line that trash the cars handling (esp when going against the Boxer S). Is this a bad rap or are the reviewers on to something?

Would appreciate some feed back on what I can expect in handling vs my current car and thoughts on the 28i vs 35i

Thanks!
I find myself in the exact situation as Rob Mc. I, too, am considering the E89 Z4 as it is such a good looking roadster, but every, I mean EVERY road test I've read complains about the handling. I currently have a 335i coupe, and it is a blast to drive. Love the drive train and would choose the sdrive 35i to get the same engine and a manual trans. But I'm not keen on giving up handling to get this car. Dinan does not offer suspension mods for it. Turner Motorsport does, and someone there recommended this upgrade for me as it won't be a track car, but will improve handling w/out a big sacrifice in ride comfort.

http://www.turnermotorsport.com/p-11...variant-1.aspx

Has anyone here gone w/ a suspension upgrade on their E89 Z4? What was the result?
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  #24  
Old 06-13-2013, 12:15 PM
jparnes1 jparnes1 is offline
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Why don't you just go out and test drive the car? See how it feels for yourself compared to your 335. A lot of what people say in influenced by the RFT's and how the Z compares to a Boxter. Make your own decision.
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  #25  
Old 06-13-2013, 12:39 PM
mojoman mojoman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jparnes1 View Post
Why don't you just go out and test drive the car? See how it feels for yourself compared to your 335. A lot of what people say in influenced by the RFT's and how the Z compares to a Boxter. Make your own decision.
Everything you say makes sense. Getting a salesman to let me find a road of my choice and drive it in a spirited manner may not be an easy enterprise! I see you have the M Sport Package. Aside from changing out the tires, have you done anything to enhance it's handling? Do you notice any quirkiness when pushing it on winding roads? Trailing throttle oversteer? Are you hesitant or can you drive w/ confidence?
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