Convertibles have a niche market share in India and hence we do not find any options if you go out in the market to buy one. The BMW Z4 recently got an update with some cosmetic and mechanic upgrades. There aren't many convertibles in this price bracket at the moment, and the closest rival is the Mercedes-Benz SLK 350. We find out how good the upgrades on the Z4 are and share our review.
The Z4 was the successor to the Z3, however it was a lot more aggressive looking than its predecessor. The titivated version is a meld of aggression and style. The signature colour on the Z4 is the orange that we have seen on the new X1 also. The new front grille with the long crowned bonnet blends perfectly with the headlamp design. The strakes on the hood getting carried on to the door. There are air vents below the headlamps for easy breathing of the engine.
The silhouette of the Z4 is stylish and looks muscular with the haunch and the long bonnet. The wheel well doesn't look empty at any given point of time and even the front door is large. The rear comes with an inbuilt spoiler and twin exhausts that add the chic effect to the Z4. The Z4 looks a lot more appealing with its hood down.
The interiors of the Z4 aren't like the conventional BMW, it is a lot different as the centre console doesn't get many controls expect majorly for the air-con. The instrument panel is more on the trendy side than sophisticated. The same body colour melds with black for interior styling. This gives it a sporty appeal than being luxurious. The interior styling is simple and easy to use with the new three-spoke BMW steering wheel. There is a LCD screen that pops out when you turn on the ignition. This is controlled by BMW's iDrive, which is extremely easy and convenient to use. The instrument cluster design too is simple and informative.
The Z4 comes with only two seats and there is sufficient space for two large adults. It feels a bit cramped due to dark interiors. The seats are large and comfortable and even the thigh support can be extended. There is storage space in the armrest, glove-box and behind the armrest a small stowage space too. The BMW Z4 has a boot much larger than what we had predicted.
The roof takes about 20 seconds to open or close completely. This can be done even when the vehicle is moving at a speed of 30km/hr. The noise insulation even with the hood up could have been a bit better than this.
Engine and Transmission:
The Z4 comes with a 3.0-litre straight-six turbocharged petrol engine. This mill produces 305bhp of power, close to that of the Mercedes-Benz SLK 350. This is a straight six and turbocharged, yet the power is less. This is because the engine has been detuned to this power. In the international range, there is also a 335bhp with the same engine specifications. To be fair, this power is sufficient, however all we wish was that the exhaust note was a bit sportier. It grunts, but the grunt isn't that loud and even the pop and crackle aren't very prominent.
The throttle response is decent, however it could have been a tad quicker. The power delivery is linear too, but what need to be quicker are the gearshifts. Downshift and the gears take a while before it engages into the correct one. The transmission is the sport mode is a lot more responsive and a bit jerky too. The power produced by this engine is sufficient for the body weight of the Z4.
The Z4 is a sports car, so it has been built to have good handling. It does that job well. Put it around a corner and the tyres will obey all your steering input commands without any kind of squealing complains. The steering wheel is heavy, which is great when driving around bends or you get in the racer boy mood. For daily city driving, it can get tiresome.
The ride of the Z4 is stiff and it can make you feel uncomfortable especially at high speeds. At low speeds it is just fine. One major issue with the Z4 is its ground clearance. The long wheelbase and low ground clearance is an issue. It scrapes on most of the speed breakers.
The Z4 is a good option in the convertibles available, however we wish that the price tag was bit lower than what it is at the moment. As BMW is a premium brand, we expected some more frills on this convertible or atleast more powerful variants too. The Z4 still has better driving dynamics amongst competition.