BMW has a strange history with its coupe versions of roadsters. The Z3 roadster got a coupe version in 1999, but it is generally considered to have been built by a renegade group within BMW. The coupe version of the Z4 obtained all proper corporate approval.
Updated: / Caption: CNET Reviews staff / Photo: CNET Networks
While roadsters are popular because of their open air qualities, the coupe variants are for the serious driving enthusiast.
Updated: / Caption: CNET Reviews staff / Photo: CNET Networks
For our test car, we had the M version of the Z4 Coupe, which gets a 3.2-liter straight six engine producing 330 horsepower, a lot of push for a two-seater.
Updated: / Caption: CNET Reviews staff / Photo: CNET Networks
The Z4 M Coupe is very distinct from its roadster counterpart. The roofline, with its severely slanting back, changes the appearance dramatically from the convertible top. The front-end retains its muscular bulge.
Updated: / Caption: CNET Reviews staff / Photo: CNET Networks
There is little compromise in this sports car. For example, although it is a hatchback, it's strictly a two-seater in the grand tourer tradition, designed for two people to get away for a long weekend.
Updated: / Caption: CNET Reviews staff / Photo: CNET Networks
The cargo space in the Z4 M Coupe is tight, compromised by the slant of the hatchback.
Updated: / Caption: CNET Reviews staff / Photo: CNET Networks
Four pipes and a big M badge show that this car comes from BMW's line of high-performers. The M line was originally built as daily cars for BMW racing drivers.
Updated: / Caption: CNET Reviews staff / Photo: CNET Networks
Space is tight in the cabin of the M Coupe, although the powered seats have good vertical adjustment.
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The three spoke steering wheel has a thick rim and good oversteer to compensate for its small size.
Updated: / Caption: CNET Reviews staff / Photo: CNET Networks
Lights on the tachometer indicate redline, along with a yellow zone that gets higher as the engine gets warmed up.
Updated: / Caption: CNET Reviews staff / Photo: CNET Networks
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The six speed shifter has a ratchety feel going into gears, which could be a symptom of a powertrain that's due for an update.
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This Sport button unleashes very sensitive throttle response. Turn it off while underway and the car feels like it's suddenly got a trailer attached.
Updated: / Caption: CNET Reviews staff / Photo: CNET Networks
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The navigation screen swivels up out of the top of the dash, a good way to make it fit in the car, but in this position it is subject to glare.
Updated: / Caption: CNET Reviews staff / Photo: CNET Networks
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The main interface looks unfinished. It functions well enough, but it's not very informative.
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The map resolution is good on this navigation system.
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With an MP3 CD in the disc player, the screen shows track information.
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The equalizer allows for a high degree of sound customization for the M Coupe's THX certified sound system.
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The auxiliary audio input is hidden under the dashboard overhang. You pretty much have to read the manual to find it.
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The cell phone integration in the M Coupe works very well, with full access to phone books, making it easy to dial your contacts.
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We weren't very impressed with the voice command, as it only controls the telephone function.
Updated: / Caption: CNET Reviews staff / Photo: CNET Networks
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