|2003 BMW Z4 3.0|
Report date - August 8, 2005
The Z4 will be sharing daily commuting duties with my Harley Davidson for the remainder of the summer. Accordingly, I have withdrawn the car from the market and look forward to having some fun with it on the days when it is just too hot to sit in traffic on the V-Rod!
Report date - January 13, 2004
Can it really be eight months since my last Z4 update? I guess so.......
I am delighted to report that the little BMW sportster has continued to perform flawlessly since my last update. Truth be told, I rarely get to drive the car as my better half likes it so much! On the odd occasions that I do take the wheel, the car is an absolute joy.
Today being the due date for my dog's six monthly shampoo and set, I was required to make my truck available for dog chauffeuring duties - which of course meant I got to drive the beemer to work. Taking full advantage of the almost deserted dawn Texas roads, I am pleased to report that I gave the car a thorough thrashing, arriving at the office very early and with a huge grin on my face. Great fun!
Anyway, the Z4 has needed nothing by way of maintenance or repairs - and the service computer indicator on the dash says the first oil change is still 10,000 miles away. Isn't technology a wonderful thing?!!
Report date - May 29, 2003
A friend of mine pointed out to me yesterday that there may be a number of people delaying their purchase of a Z4 until they hear what the problem was with the power top on the CJ fleet car! I am rather embarrassed to report that the problem lay with the driver, not the motorcar.
It turns out that the Z4 has two little handles in the upper corners of the boot compartment. With the top raised, if you rotate these handles it raises the ceiling of the boot to provide a little more storage space. Unfortunately, with the boot ceiling in the raised position, it is not possible to lower the convertible top. Although I had not actually turned the handles, apparently one of my golf clubs had wedged itself in such a position that the top 'thought' the boot floor was in the raised position. Oh well, that'll teach me to read the owners manual....
I am pleased to report that I received stellar service from Austin BMW. Thankfully the technician resisted the temptation to deride me too much when he called to explain the 'problem' to me.
Other than this minor hiccup, the car is performing flawlessly. In the next week or so I will be adding a Porsche Boxter S to the fleet so it will be very interesting to compare the two cars side by side.
Report date - April 30, 2003
Last night I was getting settled in to my leather clad cockpit, anticipating an exhilarating drive home, when I pressed the power soft top button and....nothing! Try as I might, I couldn't get the convertible top to budge. Most annoying!
Sending the car back to BMW on a flat bed truck might seem like overkill, but the truth is I was just too busy today to drive across town. It is also my way of punishing the car, taking a picture of it in disgrace atop a flat bed truck.
One good thing that came out of this is that BMW immediately offered me a brand new loaner car while they fix the problem with mine. As it happens, I didn't need to take them up on the offer, but it was nice to be asked. I told them if it was going to be more than a couple of days I would like to borrow a Z8 Alpina.....so I suspect they will turn the Z4 around pretty fast!
Report date - April 25, 2003
On my Z4 there is a little button labeled 'sport' just to the left of the 6 speed shifter. After 550 miles of driving I believe this button should be relabeled 'FUN'! Apparently when you press the sport button, the pre-set reaction time between the 'fly by wire' pedal (there is no accelerator cable) and the computer that commands the engine is decreased, the steering and shocks are weighted and the car takes on an entirely different attitude. It really is a 'seat of the pants' change and an absolute blast to play with.
I love the styling of the Z4 but more than that, I have been blown away with the performance it delivers for a reasonably modest price tag. The 6 speed transmission changes like a knife through butter, with great ratios. Fifth gear is a pure 1:1 with sixth being a .85 overdrive. As much money as I spent on the development of the CJ5 five speed for E Types, I am trying to resist taking a closer look at this amazing box in the Z4. It really does look incredibly compact.....
If you ever get a chance to drive a BMW Z4 3.0 6 speed - don't pass it up!
Report date - April 16, 2003
The more I drive and think about this car, the more I think this is what it must have been like to drive the E Type when it was launched in 1961. Having said that, comparisons between the two cars, as far apart in years as I am old, are somewhat meaningless.
In every way, not just looks but also in performance, this car is pushing the automotive envelope. Accordingly, and despite my observations above, it was fascinating for me to climb out of the Z4 after a spirited drive to work this morning and immediately jump into one of the E Types, apparently ready for me to road test. The difference was astounding. Having given the matter some thought, it just isn't fair to compare the two cars. I can't decide whether the E Type is slow and noisy or the Z4 is lightening fast and silent. In any event, the contrast was a marked one.
Put simply, I have never driven a convertible car with as rigid a structure as the Z4. It is entirely devoid of squeaks and rattles. The way it hangs on around fast bends is an absolute revelation. Placing disproportionately large amounts of rubber as close to the corners as possible, together with an incredibly advanced traction control system, results in a car that flatters even modest driving skills. The limits of adhesion are such that you would have to be driving like a complete lunatic to lose control. For once, here is a car that lives up to its billing in the glossy brochure. This little car is the absolute dogs bollocks.
Another thing I rather like about the Z4 is that it is likely to hold its value reasonably well. Without putting too fine a point on it, I lost my ass on the 2002 X Type which preceeded it. In fact, I am too embarrassed to admit just how much the X Type depreciated in the 14 months we owned it....but it was grizzly.
That's it for now. Rest assured I will keep you updated as I become more acquainted with my latest toy!
Report date - April 15, 2003
The latest addition to the fleet is this gorgeous BMW roadster. Performance from the 3.0 litre fuel injected engine and the close ratio 6 speed manual transmission is extremely impressive and the car is bristling with state of the art technology. It is an absolute blast to drive!
We went for all the various performance and premium options, including massive 255/35 Bridgestone Potenzas on very attractive 18 x 8.5 inch wheels and the complete sports handling package. I can't wait to tell you more about the car as I get a few miles under my belt.
First impressions - awesome!
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