Roadshow Video Reviews
2009 BMW Z4 sDrive 35iBMW's roadster grows up. Good thing, because we want to wolf whistle at it.
>> Forget the Z3 hair dresser's special and the torchered looking original Z4 with its flame sculpted lines. With the new Z4 BMW gets back to making an attractive car with road-going spirit and solid tech. Let's go get some admiring looks shall we? ^M00:00:21 [ Music ] ^M00:00:28 >> Now, all Z4's are retractables they've got this whole hard top mechanism down pat at BMW, trunk lid goes up here come the dual panels including the back light which is stacked on top of the roof. You can't tell this on camera but this mechanism's almost absolutely silent and as you can see less than 20 seconds. And you do have quarter windows separate from the door windows. Now even when the top is down you do retain a decent amount of trunk space because the back light and the roof panel fold into a flat package, that leaves this kind of tunnely thing down here. You can't see where your bags went but at least there's a place for them. Now if your Z4 is optioned up with navigation you also get the new iDrive. Where does it hide? Well, hit the controller and peak a boo there it is. Pop-up display, like and 8 point 8 inch LCD, really wide it's a BMW thing. We've got premium sound so we get a lot of other toys including the rather hard to find unless you're clever drop-down 6 disk CD/DVD changer here in the glove box that, of course, will play DVD videos if you're parked and want to watch a movie on your display right there. Now, part of this Premium Auto Package also brings us this connector in here. Pretty familiar stuff in BMW, aux in, USB, we've got our iPhone connected and, yes, that means you can actually play an iPhone not just an iPod. You could also stick a USB thumb drive in there, does a nice job. Several ways to get hands-free in this car. Now, one, the basic one is BMW Assist with Bluetooth, that's their helping system, their OnStar or get the Smartphone integration option which would cradle your iPhone right here allowing it to charge and be controlled and play its audio and connect to an external antenna for a better signal. Now our transmission in this car happens to be the optional double clutch. A 7 speed automatic but it's a dual clutch so it's really an automated manual. It's kind of fun to drive. Over here is our sport drive train setting, sport plus lets you break the thing loose, turns off the traction control. Sport leaves that on in sport mode and, of course, normal is your typical commuter driving position. Now our car is a Z4 SDrive 35I none of which makes a whole lot of sense unless they decode it for you. It's not a 3 1/2 liter it's a 3 liter inline 6 twin turbo. You know the motor we loved it the first time we met it in the 335I. Direct injection is what you hear kind of dieseling, that's the little Piaso electric direct injectors making that noise. Plenty of sound deadening around the cabin keeps it from getting into the car or penetrating when the roof is down. You're gonna get zero to 60 in about 5 seconds on this guy. Again, the twin turbo version with 300 horse power and 300 foot pounds of torque makes that happen. The non-turbo is the same engine they just removed that turbo charging technology. Mileage is pretty good 18 city 25 highway. Not bad for a car of this performance level. Oh, so now you want to know what is the SDrive mean. It just means rear-wheel drive. Why S, don't know. ^M00:03:22 [ Music ] ^M00:03:26 >> It's worth noting this is BMW's first car designed by 2 female designers. One took the outside, one took the cabin. The 35I does BMW's magic trick with turbos. There's virtually no lag because there are 2 of them and they stake out their own part of the RPM range. Andt he power this engine developes is ready to romp style power not just numbers on paper. Front engine, rear-wheel drive dynamics print quite clearly in this car when you push it and the 7 speed double clutch automated manual is basically a delight though it's never going to please the manual purest. The exhaust note has sort of a Jag E type snarl when you crack it open and a nice little pop and burble on sporting down-shifts. The bulging brow out front makes the car feel kind of tubby from the driver's perspective but that's okay. Just remind yourself how good you look to everyone you're passing whether top up or down. Okay let's price our 2009 Z4 SDrive 35I. Starts about $52,000, yeah it's a lot of money for very little practicality but that's the kind of car this is. For the CNET crowd the main options include $2,100 for the navigation system, yeah, it's kind of steap but it's one of the best out there. Premium sound is 2 grand, that's the additional speakers, surround sound, the better amps, the 6 disk changer, the iPod USB connector. It's probably worth it but it's pretty steap. They consider spending $1,525 for that double clutch automated manual, that's a good gear box for not a bad price for that kind of technology. The super steal on this car is the Smartphone kit for $150. If you've got an iPhone you've got to get that. ^E00:05:10