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    BMW Z4 M

    http://www.channel4.com/4car/road-tests/driving-impressions/2006/B/bmw/z4-m-roadster.html

    Personally, I prefer steering/handling finesse over raw horsepower but I would still like to see the Boxster S with at least 300bhp

    Re: BMW Z4 M

    Thanx for posting the link/article
    Though I only can tell from extensive testrides with the Z4 3.0 the M version seems to suffer from exactly the same design flaws like it's less powered sibling if one can trust the author: steering & suspension. Actually I like BMW a lot but I was more than disappointed regarding the handling of the car: each single corner seemed to be a sequence of three corners (no comparison to the flow-feeling of the Boxster when taken through a set of corners),
    the DSC kicked in all the time (seemed to be misused to correct the design flaws rather than working as a safety net), ride quality unpleasent, straight line behaviour at high speeds asking for steering corrections, car becoming unstable when braking hard at speeds above 200 km/h What's left for a positive note ? Yes, a sweet engine, the famous BMW in line six cyl.
    Frankly speaking- with my subjective butt-feeling any reasonably powered 3series BMW does it better
    Sorry for sounding somewhat harsh, but as somebody with a long time history of driving BMW sedans/coupés (which always pleased me fulfilling the "Freude am Fahren" promise) I may have had some exaggerated expectations, but my conclusion for the time being is: yes they build some of the finest sport sedans in the world, but they don't know how to build a proper sportscar
    For some good reasons in almost all the Z4/Boxster comparos I read the Z4 won in only one department: pricing (not true for the M version anymore, of course).

    Even if the M version would have a power advantage of 100 ponies over the Boxster S, I wouldn't go for it, unless the car would be a match in the handling department (which I don't expect to happen regardless of any future updates - if the M version can't do it no other version won't do it).

    IMO the article sums it up correctly: "Yes, the Boxster is the better car" "Z4 M rough and ready vs. Boxster silky smooth"

    BMW might win the engine/HP battle, but not the war...

    Would I lust for some more ponies in the Boxster S - yes sure , but the Porsche owners' complaints about lacking ponies seems to be part of the Porsche heritage: go ask some people driving the 356 back in the sixties....or lurke into the 997 TT board...
    If you check out Ring-laptimes all Porsches easily can compete with competitors enjoying a significant HP-advantage. Unfortunatley the drivers' average pulse beat and "sweat rate" is not part of the equation in those Ring-tests....

    Re: BMW Z4 M

    does anybody know where they took this pictures? very beautiful landscape.

    Re: BMW Z4 M

    These are BMW press pics. They are in BMW Z4 M Roadster press brochure. Many of them are on:
    http://www.worldcarfans.com/photos.cfm/p...d-z4-m-roadster

    Re: BMW Z4 M

    Quote:
    Porsche-Jeck said:
    Thanx for posting the link/article
    Though I only can tell from extensive testrides with the Z4 3.0 the M version seems to suffer from exactly the same design flaws like it's less powered sibling if one can trust the author: steering & suspension.



    I read the full article in Autocar this morning. I know Andrew Frankel pretty well having raced with him and his brother Jonathan in Alfa Romeos back in the '80s. He's not the most balanced of reviewers, he has his preferences and judges cars from his own perspective of what he likes.

    I was interested in this test because I own an Alpina Roadster S (Alpina/BMWs production version of the Z4 with a 3.4 litre 300bhp/270lbft engine). The Alpina actually seems to produce closer to 320bhp and it's 100kg lighter than this new Z4M. I will get a chance to drive the new Z4M myself in around 3 weeks time, so I can check Andrew's comments against my own experience.

    Driving the Alpina Roadster S which is much better than the standard Z4s (but still not perfect) is a pleasureable and frustrating experience both at the same time. Alpina's 3.4 litre engine is better than the M3's 3.2 litre lump (more torque, much sweeter), and I felt it was better than the 3.4 litre engine in the Cayman S that I drove a month or so ago.

    My Alpina Roadster is fitted with Alpina's Sport Pack which uses a much thicker front anti-roll bar (from the M3 CSL) and an extra degree of negative camber on the front axle. It's much better, carves through turns just as well as I remember my Boxster S, but the electrical power assisted steering still lets the side down. In no way is it comparable with the relaxing fluidity of any Porsche's steering (or most BMW's too).

    The advantage that the Z4 has over the Boxster is nothing to do with price, but the nature of the car's dynamics. Driving the Boxster is all about precision, neatness and poise. It's impressive but I found it became rather boring, particularly when I compared it to the more lively behavior of a 911. The Z4 can be neat, but is at it's best being drifted out of a corner and driven like a 'roadster' rather than a 'sports car'. The distinction is important and is one of the reasons why I find the Z4 a more enjoyable daily companion than my Boxster ever was. But that very much depends on how you like to drive.

    It's a different kind of car to the Boxster/Cayman, but it's misleading to say the Boxster is better, because there are appealing attributes of the Z4 that the Boxster just doesn't have.

    Re: BMW Z4 M

    Steve that was a very interesting review

    You seem quite ready for a Corvette convertible.

    400hp isnt bad for starters and the prices for way bigger brakes,engine mods and Ohlins suspension pieces are very reasonable.


    Re: BMW Z4 M

    I've already been having rude thoughts about a Z06...

    Re: BMW Z4 M

    Quote:
    SteveD said:
    The Z4 can be neat, but is at it's best being drifted out of a corner and driven like a 'roadster' rather than a 'sports car'. The distinction is important and is one of the reasons why I find the Z4 a more enjoyable daily companion than my Boxster ever was. But that very much depends on how you like to drive.

    It's a different kind of car to the Boxster/Cayman, but it's misleading to say the Boxster is better, because there are appealing attributes of the Z4 that the Boxster just doesn't have.



    Steve, excellent review from an obvious very experienced Z4 owner Though I agree with your description of the cars' different driving dynamics I don't agree with your conclusion, but that's just - as you have statet - a matter of personal preference. In so far there is no such thing like the "better car" per se. Either you prefer the "ying and yang" balance of a Boxster (like some author described it) or the more raw drive feeling of a Z4 - both can be appealing, but for some egoistic reasons I hope the "boring factor" you experienced with the Boxster will not catch me too soon with my 987 S

    Re: BMW Z4 M

    Sorry, I didn't intend to offend with the "boring' comment. Mine was a 986 S and I realise Porsche made many improvements in the 987. I was used to my 911s where I used the rear weight distribution in the corners, and moving to a Boxster just didn't provide the same satisfaction and achievement that I had learned to enjoy. I used to race 911s, so I really felt at home with a rear-engined Porsche.

    These days I like a 50:50 balanced chassis, but prefer it to be front/rear-drive rather than a mid-engined. On the race track I drive neatly and smoothly, but on the road it's nice to kick the tail out and enjoy taking advantage of the balance and poise.

    The Z4 chassis doesn't offer the same sense of confidence and control as the Boxster on corner entry (in fact nowhere close), but becomes much more stable and fun once the chassis is loaded and a few degrees of extra slip angle are introduced. Not everyone likes to drive that way so I can understand some of the adverse comments.

    The Z4 is still nowhere near as good as my M3 CSL which is a delight to slide and has as much balance and confidence as I remember in my Boxster.

    Re: BMW Z4 M

    Steve --

    Any chance you could post a scan of the Autocar article?

    Thank you, great input.

    Michael

    Re: BMW Z4 M

    I'm sorry Michael but I don't have a working scanner at the moment, perhaps someone else will manage to make a copy.

    Here's one of the last few paragraphs of the article:

    "Even though it (the Z4 M) and the Boxster S take diametrically opposed routes to the provision of driving pleasure, this does not mean one is necessarily right and the other inevitably wrong. Indeed, if you get your thrills from the delight of feeling the back of the car move and your reassurance from the knowledge that the car has enough basic agility and suspension sophistication to allow you to round it up with ease, then the Z4M driven with the right measure of controlled savagery provides a kind of pleasure the Boxster S driver will never know"


    "...Fun though the Z4M can be on the right road or track, this is no substitute for the sensitivity, precision and feel imparted so freely by the Boxster S. However and wherever you drive it, you will never be as at one with the Z4M as you will in a Boxster S.

    That is not to say that the Z4M is any approximation to a bad car. The first obligatoin of any car wearing the M badge is to posess the capacity to thrill its driver and, flaws and all, that's a commodity the Z4M possesses in spades"

    Re: BMW Z4 M

    Quote:
    SteveD said:
    Sorry, I didn't intend to offend with the "boring' comment.




    No offense taken I think your description is spot-on. I enjoy the slide fun with the BMW 3series on some empty twisty backroads almost everyday during my daily commute, so I guess I know what you're talking about. Also agree with your comment that this kind of fun certainly is not asked for at the track as it would destroy your "clean line" (reminds me of Jean Alesi ). Would love to get my hands on the CSL - must be an amazing car.
    Should I ever get bored with the balance of the midengined Boxster my remedy will be a 997 and not the Z4 (either cab or upcoming coupé) though
    BTW recently I had a close look at a preowned Alpina Roadster S at my local P-dealership (obviously from someone not enjoying it too much and swapping it with a P-car after 6 months of ownership only) and I have to say that the interior looked WAY better than the standard Z4's - really nice.

    Re: BMW Z4 M

    Yes, the interior is a much nicer place to be. Out of interest here's a picture of my interior plus an outside shot parked next to my CSL.




    Re: BMW Z4 M

    Thanx for sharing the pics - nice stable I like the stitching
    I wasn't aware that the Alpina could be ordered in "sealgreay" (sorry, don't know the BMW colour name anyway it's my favourite P-colour at the moment) - always thought Alpina colours would be restricted to very few choices only
    The one I saw was painted in the typical "Alpina-Blue", but with some IMO ridiculous silverish "rallye-stripes", which come as standard with the Alpina AFAIK.

    Re: BMW Z4 M

    Thankfully the silly stripes are optional. Yes, you can choose an Alpina in whichever BMW colour you want. Mine is in Sterling Grey, but you can pay an extra 1500 Euros for Alpina Blue.

    My Boxster S was in Seal Grey/Black Leather, so perhaps I'm harking back to those days.

    Re: BMW Z4 M

    Quote:
    SteveD said:
    Mine is in Sterling Grey, but you can pay an extra 1500 Euros for Alpina Blue.




    Thank you for explaining
    STERLING Grey, what else in the UK ?
    I'd bet they didn't charge you 1,500 Euros for this colour, but just some good old GBPs
    I cross my fingers, that spring arrives soon so you can enjoy some top-down driving....over here predominating colour still is "carrarawhite"/snow...arrrrg...and I'm counting the days until the pick up of my new baby in Zuffenhausen....of course equipped with the Michelin summer rubber....

    Re: BMW Z4 M

    That's one other attribute I find better in the Z4 than my 986, I drive with the top down even in winter and remain nice and warm with the heating switched on. Somehow I never felt as comfortable doing so in my 986, it seemed to let all the heat out and be quite blustery even with the wind-deflector on. I've sat in the 987 and the seating position seems lower, so perhaps Porsche have sorted that out now.

    Re: BMW Z4 M

    Great stuff Steve, thank you for the photos. What a cool looking interior.

    Michael

    Re: BMW Z4 M

    I love the CSL. Would you happen to have more pics of this beauty?

    Re: BMW Z4 M

    Certainly. Here's one in front of my house, then one parked with a friend of mine in the paddock of a local track, and finally cresting the hill from Eau Rouge at Spa Franchorchamps.




    Re: BMW Z4 M

    Thx, Stunning pics, I love that car!

    Re: BMW Z4 M

    The CSL is such a great car, my only question is how you get in the back with one piece seats...

    Re: BMW Z4 M

    The front seats on the CSL tilt and then slide on their runners. It's still not easy to climb in the back, but at least it's possible.

    The CSL is such a memorable car to drive for several reasons; yes the sound it makes is one of the all-time great sounds made by a production car (and unique), also it's quite a bit faster than a standard M3 (approx 30-40bhp more and nearly 300lbs lighter). But the most stand-out factor is how agile and balanced the chassis feels, particulary when fitted with grippy tyres. The poise and stability of the chassis allows you to literally throw the car into a corner, sending it into a slide and still remain fully in control.

    It's a shame it wasn't made available in the States because really everyone should have the opportunity of driving one. It's a truly unique automotive experience.

    Re: BMW Z4 M

    Back on topic. I should be driving a Z4M in just over 2 weeks time. Together with EVO magazine I'm taking a number of cars over to Germany/France and comparing them with the Z4M. Should be fun.

    Re: BMW Z4 M

    Yes, that does sound like fun! Great connections you have there. I find EVO to be without peer, they are simply the best. I hope they have a Cayman along for the test as well. I am dying to see that head-to-head.

    Michael

    Re: BMW Z4 M

    Pic from Geneva...

    Re: BMW Z4 M

    I just came back from our Z4M Group Test at the Nurburgring where we tested the new Z4M against the Porsche Boxster S, Alpina Roadster S and TVR Tuscan Convertible. The article will appear in EVO in 2 weeks time, so make sure you pick up a copy.

    Re: BMW Z4 M

    Looks like a shoe

    Re: BMW Z4 M

    Quote:
    SteveD said:
    I just came back from our Z4M Group Test at the Nurburgring where we tested the new Z4M against the Porsche Boxster S, Alpina Roadster S and TVR Tuscan Convertible. The article will appear in EVO in 2 weeks time, so make sure you pick up a copy.




    Steve - Can you give us any hints at all how you liked the new BMW?

    Re: BMW Z4 M

    Grant, you have a PM.

     
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