[8] 2007 Bmw Z4 At Daily Topic

Convertibles are supposed to be fun. Coupes are supposed to be fascinating. BMW's new Z4 3.0si coupe is certainly that, grabbing your attention with a sloping, double-bubble roof that tapers to the rear like a teardrop in the wind. It looks primed for speed in a way that the awkward bread-van that was the old Z3 coupe never was.

The darling of the 2005 Frankfurt auto show, BMW's 2-seat Z4 coupe went into production in May 2006. There are two flavors, the 330-hp M and the 255-hp 3.0si. The latter is what we concern ourselves with here. There's good news on pricing. Unlike Porsche with its Cayman and Boxster twins, BMW does not charge more for its Z4 coupe than its convertible. Prices for the 3.0si coupe start at $40,795, a $2000 savings over the Z4 3.0si ragtop and almost $10,000 less than the base Porsche Cayman.

Raise the large rear hatch to access the cargo compartment and its 12 cubic feet of storage space (there's 10 cubic feet under a retractable cargo cover). The cockpit is otherwise unchanged from the roadster. Optional, tight-fitting M Sport buckets squeeze the torso in anticipation of hard cornering. Headroom under the hardtop is adequate for six-footers, but the narrow side-window glass may induce cold sweats in claustrophobics. Generally, interior noise is turned down a notch in the coupe.

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Under the 3.0si's immense hood is BMW's familiar N52 inline-six, of 2996cc displacement, variable intake valve lift, and variable intake and exhaust valve timing. This is from the same engine family as that found in the 3-series sedan, with its novel magnesium-and-aluminum hybrid block casting. The engine makes incredibly smooth power through a slick-shifting six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic. We expected our 3080-pound Z4 coupe's broad torque band and shorter final-drive ratio to equal quick acceleration, but our 3.0si manual ran to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds and hit the quarter-mile in 14.0 seconds at 101 mph, no quicker than a 3.0si roadster.

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Standard are 17-inch wheels, while 18s come on the Sport package fitted with fatter rear W-rated tires. The road holding, measured at 0.93 g on our skidpad, is in the Crazy Glue class, finessed by precise steering and resolute brakes. The Z4 coupe, as with the roadster, can be a chore to commute in, however, owing to heavy steering and a twitchy tendency to be pulled around by pavement troughs and seams. The suspension is downright nervous on imperfect surfaces (and where are they perfect besides Germany?), requiring constant correction and allowing little relaxation. Were the Z4 ours to keep, we'd look for possible suspension tweaks or aftermarket bits that might settle it down.

Welding a fixed roof to a small convertible deprives it of its most fun feature. The styling, at least, better be a gob-smacker. The Z4's definitely is. The rest pretty much stays the same.

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