So we got a 2010 BMW Z4 sDrive30i
So we finally get our hands on the all-new BMW Z4, if only because we now have friends within BMW. We suspect our tester, with 12000 km on the clock already, is really a 2009 rental model, but for the purposes of this preview we’ll refer to it as a 2010, to avoid appearing outdated. Remarkably, the car looks to be in perfect shape, which can’t be said for most test vehicles we get from Infiniti. Maybe the German firm is now concentrating on durability more than the Japanese themselves?
The new BMW Z4 is also a stunning little car, and even the dude who dropped it off at my home seemed enamoured with it. It is also one of only a handful of cars that random people have come up to me and complemented. After the “Bangled” era, BMW is returning to conservative elegance.
The front end remains long, and the rear end has seemingly been extended slightly, likely to make enough room in the boot for the folding top. It looks better than the last Z4 too.
The Z4 looks good whether the top is up or down, thanks to a complicated metal roof setup that can even be left half-done to use as a roof spoiler. Or not.
Cabin materials for the simplistic interior are premium, with a stitched leatherette dash and soft-touch trim on all but the lowest panels. Our tester even had optional wood trim.
We assume our sDrive30i isn’t a fully-specced model, considering there is no iDrive computer, or navigation, or even cruise control. But otherwise the equipment levels on this mid-range trim are good, with dual-zone a/c, power seats and Bluetooth.
The seats aren’t the most sporting, but the small interior keeps you in place during fast driving. Legroom is immense, thanks to the long bonnet.
Cabin storage spaces are more plentiful than before, with two cup-holders under the central armrest and space for a phone or iPod, ready for USB hook-up.
A few shelves are stuffed towards the back, under a cover, while a net is available to put stuff behind the seats. With door pockets and a large glove-box, the cabin is reasonably practical.
The boot volume is about average for a coupe. You have to pull out a big shelf to “allow” the roof to fold down, at which point there isn’t much useable boot space left.
As a first hint that the Z4 has lost a bit of its pure roadster character is the electronic parking brake. No amount of “sport” modes can make up for the lack of a proper handbrake in a sports car.
And as if you guys would never have guessed, we pitted the thing against the grand-daddy of all roadsters, our 2000 BMW M Roadster. But more on that later.