But push the Z4 hard into corners like a classic roadster should be pushed, and weaknesses emerge. First off, like most modern German cars, the Z4 is a heffer to the tune of 3500 pounds; an egregious amount of weight for a so-called roadster. Then, consider that the additional 350 pounds of weight from the hardtop sits high on a car that’s designed with an exceptionally long hood, a short rear and a cabin which puts occupant weight too far back on the chassis, it adds up to a roadster which prefers the daily commute more than a spirited jaunt at the local track. These handling characteristics are validated through the Z4′s unimpressive .83 g skidpad results. Not bad in general, but for a roadster – not good.
Our tester was equipped with BMW’s M suspension system; an adaptive, electronically controlled (surprise, surprise!) suspension which can toggle between normal (freeway), sport (spirited driving) and sport+ (all-out hooliganism). The different settings absolutely have an effect on the behavior of the car, ranging from a soft, rolly freeway ride to a stiff, rigid, sans traction-control, tire scorching experience.
We would be remiss to say the Z4 is a good value. The base price is $51,900, and as tested, nearly $63,000. For the same price, you could buy both his and hers Miatas – one hard top and one soft top. This reality would make many stop and reconsider, especially “with the economy the way it is and all…”, but there are some out there who wouldn’t be caught dead in a Miata. They want more than just impracticality, they want luxurious impracticality. They want their iPhone to have a cool place to sit. They want to have a statistically higher chance of copulating with opposite sex. So for them, the Z4 is a bargain.
Who Should Buy It?
The Z4 is really targeted towards buyers who want something a little less sporty yet more luxurious than a Porsche Boxster. For these buyers who are less enthusiast oriented, the Z4 will deliver plenty of driver exhilaration. In addition, for someone who is losing sleep over whether to get a Boxster or a Cayman, they should check out the Z4. Because chances are likely they’re less concerned with the inherent handling differences than they are with the material and removability of the top.
The Z4 clearly strays from the roots of what a 2-seat roadster is all about. It’s bigger and heavier in both weight and technology, and possesses more luxury than some luxury sedans. But depending on who you are, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Some would never consider the Z4 because of it’s extravagance, while others have been waiting a lifetime for a roadster as practical (relatively speaking) as the Z4. Although this author would buy two Miatas well before a single Z4, this author also happily drives a 25-year-old Toyota 4Runner with no air conditioning, and is happily married, indicating an absolute zero chance of copulating with the opposite sex. So take that for what its worth.
What’s undeniable is that BMW has taken the Z4 from hard on the eyes to one of the most beautiful cars on the road, and paired it with a legendary drivetrain, German luxury and technology which brings the roadster into the modern era. In the parlance of our internet times – a roadster 2.0.
2010 BMW Z4 Specs
|The official BMW of North America website – www.bmwusa.com|