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BMW Z4 2,0i and BMW Z4 M Roadster

Broadcast date : 16th July 2006

In many peopleís eyes, the BMW Z4 is the perfect sports car. So what do you do to improve it? 

How about gaping guppy intakes, fat 18-inch alloys with low profile rubber, and there are those four tailpipes, waiting for the chance to snarl. We have to admit this M for Motorsport-division baby looks the business.

For vooma, look no further than the 3,2 litre M-division straight-six. 252 kilowatts will curl you dreadlocks, baby.

But first to the four-cylinder two-litre entry Z4 touting a modest 110 kilowatts to establish a reference. Gugu soon discovers thereís a lot more to open-topped fun than sheer grunt, hence the two-litre Z4ís reason for being. In fact itís a superb sports package with excellent balance. You just need to shift your parameters.

The roots the two-litre Z4 is drawing upon go back to the original Z3, which was first sold in Germany as a 1,9 litre four-cylinder model. With the top down, you donít have to burn rubber to get your kicks.

While we agree with The Zulu that BMW could have installed a throatier air intake system for some four-cylinder rortiness, what you discover about the two-litre is that it lets you appreciate the Z4ís basic strengths because its engine note and performance are secondary factors.

Things like chassis rigidity, build-quality and solid engineering are highlighted in the two-litre Z4.

You sit low in the Z4, which takes a bit of getting used to, but then sports cars are supposed to be low. What is impressive is that thereís good space for two people.

As for out-and-out performance, 0-100 in eight seconds and a 220 top-end are not to be sneezed at.

The best part about the two-litre model is its price. At R325 000 you get plenty of image, although the first thing weíd do is fit 18-inch alloys. What Gugu would do is take out a second bond and opt for the M Roadster.

"M" for Motorsport, a completely separate division from normal BMWs. "M" for Magic. "M" for Magnificent! Yes, it could be M for de-Manding. Because it demands your full attention, The M Roadster is not you average cruiser.

The fabled M3 engine has elevated the Z4 to Porsche 911 territory. Apart from the over-reactive steering, Gugu felt the car was made for him.

We are delighted that BMWís M division decided to stick with a real gearbox for real drivers. No paddle shifts, just a beautiful six-speed manual that requires you to apply some skill to your gear changing.

The Z4 M is a super-involving car, and super quick. We reckon that a 280 plus top-speed would be on the cards if it wasnít electronically limited to 250.

It has a stiffer chassis than before, stiffer suspension for the M model, massive thirteen-inch brake discs, and if you switch off the electronic driver aids, you need to be lightening fast to keep tail slides in check.

It comes in two models. The Executive version, has items like plush wood trim, Blue-Tooth phone connection, satellite navigation and a super quality sound system.

Thereís also seat warming, and the trick for topless fun in icy winter is to put the heater and seat warmers on full blast and let the warmth waft upwards.

By comparison the two-litre seems almost Plain-Jane-ish, but thatís also part of its appeal. Itís as basic a sports car as anything with the BMW badge could be.

Lots of fun these Beemer roadsters, and both are great cars in their own way.

BMW Z4 2,0i

  • Engine: Four-cylinder petrol 1 995cc
  • Power: 110 kW @ 6 200 rpm
  • Torque: 200 Nm @ 3 600 rpm
  • Transmission: Six-speed manual, rear-wheel-drive
  • 0-100 km/h: 8,0 seconds (claimed)
  • Top speed: 220 km/h (claimed)
  • Fuel consumption: 8,9 litres/100 km (claimed)
  • Price: R325 000

BMW Z4 M Roadster

  • Engine: Six-cylinder, 3 246 cc
  • Power: 252 kW @ 7 900 rpm
  • Torque: 365 @ 4 900 rpm
  • Transmission: Six-speed manual, rear-wheel-drive
  • 0-100 km/h: 5,27 seconds (Car Magazine)
  • Top speed: 252 km/h (Car Magazine)
  • Fuel consumption: 14,88 litres/100 km (Car Magazine)
  • Price: R547 500 (R578 for Exclusive model)
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