2 years with the Z4M
Bought a 2006 Z4M when a really painful back injury mandated the sale of my Boxer 1200GS. I picked the car up privately for £15999.00 from the 2nd owner with 23,000 miles on the clock. It had just had a level 1 service plus brakes for around £400 and 2 new rear tyres and had obviously led a pampered life. Everything worked fine.....a few minor rattles which seemed to come and go and therefore never became irritating and an expired foam cannister in the mobility kit. First impression was of a motor that offered steady torque under 4000rpm but that took off like a banshee above 5k. Grip in corners was superb, able to take lots of power through the M-diff without any sign of understeer and gradual onset of oversteer when provoked; not so gradual on wet roads, where the traction control and restraint became a must.
Below 4000 the engine was fairly docile and felt subjectively slower than my 330d. Above 5K it was an entirely different animal.
From the get-go I found the gear box notchy and required a full clutch movement to change smoothly. In the first few days of ownership I had to pay conscious attention to shifting smoothly and initiially ended up coasting in neutral around quite a few fast bends. This feeling gradually disappeared and became a non-issue but I could imagine it would make driving in traffic with many low rev shifts quite tiring. For a weekend car on open roads it became a non-issue with a little practice. This is one of the easiest car to heel-and-toe that I've ever driven and in sports mode, those down shifts sound lovely.
Handling was brilliant and you can really lean on the chassis and brakes. Coming into corners, you can effect a quick last minute dab to adjust entry speed and get on the gas early once you've spotted the apex.
On the coupe vs. roadster question I wouldn't hesitate in saying that the Coupe handles slightly better but that the Roadster is way more fun on a lovely Spring or Summer morning. With heater turned to 24 and seat heating at 3, you'll still need a hat and something to keep your neck warm when temperatures dip below 16 degrees. I kept a neck warmer and baseball cap in the boot for just such occasions and could happily take the top down at 12degrees and above. Take the roof down, hit the sports button, find some lovely curvey roads and you're in for a completely different motoring experience. Pure joy!
Hi-Fi was crap btw. but the exhaust note was special enough that the stereo was anyway superfluous.
I eventually sold the car with just under 30,000 miles for £12,500. I had several dealers call to offer £12,000 and could have probably got £12,999 if I'd waited long enough, but I can't be bothered and try to price things to sell. So £3,500 depreciation for 2 full 'cabriolet seasons' of great motoring.
I needed 4 new tyres following a nail in 1 or the rears and a lamda sensor in the exhaust after the emissions warning lit up. Tax was £460 and insurance around the same including no claims protection, roadside assistance and vehicle recovery.
Oil and brake service cost around £250 and I never got around to the level 2 service, which includes valve clearance adjustment and is therefore more expensive. I fitted a BMW battery minder for around £100 so winter storage was straightforward.
All in all, for what I paid, the Z4M was worth every penny
Last edited by SteveC; 11-19-2012 at 03:14 AM.