Most of the major auto publications are slowly starting to roll out their BMW Z4 reviews, Car and Driver was the first one to satisify our curiosity, followed shortly by Jalopnik and today, we have our really close friends at Autoblog telling us all about their Z4 test drive.
“Artfully sculpted, the clean-sheet Z4 Roadster looks remarkably similar to the Z8 (in fact, they nearly share dimensions), itself an aluminum-bodied roadster that acknowledged the classic and timeless design of BMW’s 507 roadster from the 1950’s. Immediately recognizable as a Z4, however, the new two-seater features a long hood, blacked-out A-pillars, flowing character lines, and a cohesive tail treatment that adds an upscale yet more traditional look to the second-generation model. The overall package looks great in pictures and even better in the metal.”
“Climbing into the driver’s seat, your author’s six-foot two-inch frame fit comfortably. The legroom feels nearly identical to the Porsche Boxster, but the Z4 offers a bit more shoulder room. In typical BMW fashion, all controls are easy to use after a bit of familiarization (even the next-gen iDrive is starting to make sense). The three-spoke steering wheel is small in diameter but very thick. Outward visibility, regardless of whether the top is stowed or raised, is excellent. Ah, the top… The multi-piece retractable hardtop is a masterpiece of engineering formed from lightweight aluminum and with a heated glass rear window. It automatically drops out of sight in about 20 seconds at the touch of a button. Retracted, the top disappears completely from view.”
“Traveling up Highway 101, the Z4 shines. BMW references a newfound “maturity” and refinement, mannerisms that are immediately apparent at cruising speeds of 60-80 mph. The chassis is very rigid, with the stiffness allowing the suspension to soak up undulations with aplomb while keeping passengers isolated from the harshness. The extra couple hundred pounds of weight over its predecessor is felt, but in this arena, it works to improve the ride. Compared to the sporty Z3 and first-gen Z4, both jittery highway travelers, the second-gen roadster reminds us more of the sedate – and much more expensive – Mercedes-Benz SL-Class. Even with all of the windows down, and without a wind blocker between the seats, air management is acceptable.”
I hope these paragraphs grabbed your attention. Now you can head over to Autoblog for the full 2009 BMW Z4 review.