Thursday, August 22, 2013

BMW's Z4 still has a handle on hot

Mark Glover’s AutoGlo car reviews also can be seen on the Business page of The Sacramento Bee’s website – via the “GALLERY: Reviews of new cars” link at

Sacramento, California – Some cars, you just look forward to getting them.

Like when you see a small configuration of letters and numbers spelling out this: BMW Z4.  Add in BMW Z4 sDrive35is, and you know you’re really going to be enjoying a primo version of the hot two-seat droptop.

Extra bonus, my 2013 Z4 tester showed up painted bright red … about as in-your-face as a sporty car can get.

I’ll let the numbers speak for themselves: 3 liters, six cylinders, 335 horsepower.  Can the lightweight, turbocharged Z4 scoot?  Yes, it can.

I tried to ignore the other numbers, like a bottom line of nearly $70,000 on the sticker and so-so fuel mileage ratings of 17 miles per gallon in the city and 24 mpg on the highway.  This is an open-road performance car, so it’s OK to purge all feelings of price and fuel-consumption guilt and just enjoy the ride.

Enjoy, I did.

The tested Z4 was a monorail-like blast.  Fast on the draw.  Rock-solid on high-speed turns.  A warrior in rush-hour traffic.

And oh, doesn’t it look sweet riding on those 19-inch alloy, double-spoke wheels?  When parked in my neighborhood, I noticed cars driving slowly by it or circling the block to give it a second look.  Uh-huh, I’ll confess that I took selfish enjoyment from watching that parade.

The suspension on the Z4 is decidedly sport-tuned, so the seat of your pants absorbs road bumps, but hey, this is a two-seat sports car.  Silky smooth isn’t necessarily part of the deal.

Nor should it be.

I was pleasantly surprised by a fairly lengthy list of cool interior features.  Also, my tester was bumped up in price by a $2,150 navigation system.

That nav system was wasted on me.  I was simply looking to get lost in my time with the Z4.  With this two-seater, yeah, you can get lost in a hurry.

My week in the red rocket was entirely too short.  But I loved every minute of it.

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