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Guest Anonymous

OT: Had a rendezvous with a Z4 last night.

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Guest Anonymous

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URL: http://www.zoomnet.net/~specautoparts

BMW invited me to a hoity-toity debut party and hey, who can refuse sports cars and free champagne served by models in tight dresses? While I did not get to drive it, here are my impressions:

- It looks better in person. Of course that is not saying much. For some reason BMW emphasizes the goofy side sculpting in their pictures. It is more subtle in person. The rear end still looks chopped off and has more strange sculpting. The overall set and envelope of the car is excellent, they just didn't know when to stop. MISS.

- The interior is really nice. The leather seats, insulated top, instruments, dash, cupholder, storage bins, and materials are all very classy. The squared-off plastic-covered 'rollbar' could be better, though. I was never impressed with the Z3 interior but BMW has stepped it up with the new model. HIT.

- The engine choices are also excellent, silky smooth 2.5 and 3.0 liter straight sixes putting out 184 and 225 hp respectively with some real torque. Of course the cars weigh 3000 lbs so it is NOT a lightweight sports car. Mechanicals definitely a HIT.

- There are several transmission options. 5 or 6 speed manuals. A 5 speed automatic or the Formula One SMG paddle shift automanual. I only played with the 5 speed manual. It had short throws but very high shifting effort. I think they used their standard manual with a short-shift kit. For comparison, Miata 5 and 6 speeds are far superior in feel. MISS.

- Trunk, top, and space efficiency. The top Z-folds like the Toyota MR2 Spyder and makes its own tonneau. The power top goes up or down in 10 seconds and latches itself. Very nice. The trunk has decent room and can handle the proverbial two golf bags. The battery is under the trunk floor. General space efficiency is good. HIT

- Paint and finish. Top notch. HIT.

- Price. Serious sticker shock. I looked at the sticker in one car and I was a little taken aback at $41K. Then I realized that this was with the small engine and mid-pack options! A loaded 3.0 will push $50K!! I think BMW is comparing it to the overpriced Boxster but I was comparing it to my Audi S4 with considerably more performance for less money. Then again, its not a roadster.

In conclusion, BMW did a good job with everything but the exterior styling and the price but those are major elements. If a BMW owner who loves sportscars and has a couple of drinks in him does not fall in love with the car I think you have to rate it a MISS.

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Guest Anonymous

I was able to see one up close at a local mall (I'm not part of the "inner circle" of our local BMW CCA chapter, so I did'nt get invited by the dealer) and liked most of what I saw except for the hunchback trunk.

Haven't seen the local prices, but they are usually about $10K over the mainland ones, so they are definitely going to have trouble selling them in the same volumes as the Z3.

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Guest Anonymous

last night. The rear hump kept my eyes on it no matter what angle I was looking. The hump is much higher than the rest of the car. It is plain butt ugly. It looks like the hunchback of Bavaria.

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