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2009 BMW Z4 sDrive35i photos

The 2009 BMW Z4 is a phenomenal car, and extraordinarily complex. From engine, to transmission, to suspension, BMW packs in a lot of tech, and that doesn't even cover the cabin gadgets.

Wayne Cunningham
Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET's Roadshow. Prior to the automotive beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine.
Wayne Cunningham
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BMW updated its Z4 roadster for the 2009 model year, offering two engine choices for the U.S., a 3-liter inline six cylinder engine, and a twin turbocharged version of the same engine.
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The Z4's styling didn't get a radical change, although the formerly smooth sheet metal down the sides gets broken up with some stylized lines.
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The nose of the Z4 is longer than on many roadsters, and bulges upwards, into the driver's line of sight.
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The twin turbo 3-liter six cylinder engine puts out 306 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, enough to get the Z4 to 62 mph in 5.1 seconds.
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The Z4 retains a good front to rear weight ratio, with the seat area near the back wheels.
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The convertible is a hard top, with panels that cleverly fold into the trunk. It's a little slow, but the hard top is a good thing to have in bad weather.
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With the top up, the Z4's profile looks somewhat like the Coupe version of the car.
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The trunk space gets compromised by the convertible hard top. With the top down, access to the trunk is particularly difficult.
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This car is equipped with the optional M suspension, with three modes labeled Normal, Sport, and Sport Plus.
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An expensive car, the interior reflects its luxury nature.
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Handling is really good with the new Z4, employing classic BMW style, which lets the back end come out a little in the corners.
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Typical with BMWs, the gauges are simple, and a small display between them shows trip and other information.
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The Z4 came equipped with the optional DCT, a twin clutch transmission, although this shifter is the same as you get with an automatic.
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This new iDrive controller is a little more intuitive than the previous generation, although you can still spend a lot of time digging through menus on the car's LCD.
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The hard-drive-based navigation system has beautifully detailed maps, with a 3D mode showing topographic and architectural features.
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Live traffic reporting is also integrated with this navigation system.
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A port in the console handles iPods, USB drives, or any audio device with a 1/8th-inch output.
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The iPod navigation menu isn't the most intuitive we've seen, but it is usable.
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Satellite and HD radio are options in the Z4.
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As in other BMW models, Bluetooth phone integration is very good in this car, giving you access to a paired phone's contact list.

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