Monday, February 16, 2009

Goodbye to the Z4

Well, I got a chance to drive the old Z4 Coupe (E86) before they replaced it with the newer Z4 (which looks quite nice btw). But anywho, it was again an automatic with icky paddle shifters (I still think that it should be right paddle upshift, left paddle downshift like in many other true sequential gearbox cars).

I thought it was an OK car. Ride was stiffer thanks to the sport package on the car so the grip levels on dry pavement were quite nice. However, I could tell that the combo and electric steering and it's behavior as it approached the limit, not so smooth. It didn't break the rear end away progressively... it is kinda abrupt and over the limit was still controllable though you have to manhandle the car a bit.

Engine was pretty smooth in the normal everyday rev range and pretty mild. It only really got in the upper rev range. I'm a bit spoiled by the mounds of torque in my scooby and I've always liked the rush of a turbo's pull, though lately the scooby's current tune is just one big continous surge. Car's pretty fast, and surprisingly so, legs are definitely at the top end.

Overall, I didn't really enjoy the car that much despite how cool it appears. Seating position and the long hood do kinda bother me. But even without M power, I can see how people could get enamoured if they drove one. Still, if you drove some of the competition, you more than likely would not. It is too bad that the Porsche Cayman is so much more expensive than a Boxster as that platform is that much better than the Z4 coupe. Even a Honda S2000 rides and drives better... it doesn't offer the same power, but the experience is more rewarding.

Plus, I don't think it'd do too well as a daily driver in the NY metro area... too many potholes for this harsh of a ride.


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