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      11-18-2012, 02:39 PM   #1
HughiusMaximus
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Z4 M Roadster - Thoughts??

How's it going guys?

Tempted by the Z4 M Roadster, they are starting to pop up on auto trader for around 11k now, and from what I have read its an awful lot of car for the money!

What are the thoughts of the people who have had them?
Is the M model worth the extra cash over the standard 3 litre?
Wouldn't be using it as the daily driver, just as a weekend thrill machine so less concerned about running costs, more about depreciation....

Any input welcome!

Last edited by HughiusMaximus; 11-18-2012 at 04:44 PM.
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      11-18-2012, 04:24 PM   #2
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The M is a totally different thing to the lazy 3.0 - don't let any delboy salesman tell you otherwise.

Great car, great price. I've also considered them a few times and love the bang for buck. More fun than a Boxster and a touch quicker going straight I'd say, but maybe a little bit less capable overall. Just.

Oh, but for SOOOO much less cash!

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      11-18-2012, 04:36 PM   #3
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That's what I have been thinking!
Get the feeling that the coupe is probably faster, but the convertible would be more of a contrast to the everyday car.

Id say they will probably stabilise at around 10 - 12k for a while, so you could probably run one for a year or two without being ravaged by depreciation...

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      11-18-2012, 04:40 PM   #4
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Depreciation won't be much of an issue.

They have lost of their value and don't have far to drop.
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      11-18-2012, 05:08 PM   #5
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An ex girlfriend of mine had the Alpina roaster S, same sort of power as the M but very rare on our roads, sounded fantastic when you floored it...
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      11-18-2012, 05:46 PM   #6
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An ex girlfriend of mine had the Alpina roaster S, same sort of power as the M but very rare on our roads, sounded fantastic when you floored it...
Let me guess, she became an ex as soon as she sold it...
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      11-18-2012, 06:47 PM   #7
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I had one but couldn't get on with it ... but was driving it every day in SW London and Surrey.

When given a bit of space and grabbed by the scruff of the neck it loved it ... plain and simple ! Engine is a peach though very linear ... not exactly lacking and loved to be revved ...

Suspension is good and it handles great - though it is a big beast. It does ride hard and seats though they hold you OK are also firm.

Downsides - heater for roof down winter fun is sadly lacking. I have had 4 convertibles and all but this one were ok on cold days with a good coat. The heater on this was useless though.

The reason I sold it was the gearbox though ... I have driven a few and mine was the best of those I tried but I just found it too notchy. It has a clutch delay valve which slows up the change but basically it is not a smooth car to drive at all. I wanted to love it but it is the only car I have ever sold because of a problem like this ... and that includes time with a TVR Griffith (which was not a 'light' drive!).

Petrol at 23mpg was reasonable I think for 343bhp ... but servicing is costly - Insp 1 at about 700 and Insp 2 at 1000 by the time brake fluid changes are taken into account which are not included in the standard service costs. Tyres for me wore well and the trim is OK.

If I could have used it at weekends I would have kept it ... but it was for everyday use so it went. Do I miss it .. No - but it was good when driven 'progressively'.

Hope this helps
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      11-19-2012, 03:07 AM   #8
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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.
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      11-19-2012, 04:21 AM   #9
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I don't have a Z4M but have its older brother the E46 M3.

Sublime ain't the word... It's a fantastic car to really give the 'tato spuds a good roasting!!

It is raw and feels like a sports car, to some that may get tiring at low speed town driving.


It's worth buying one for the diff alone.
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      11-19-2012, 02:31 PM   #10
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Cheers guys, always best to hear from people who have actually owned them rather than an overly dramatic car reviewer.

Pretty much confirms what I had thought, fast, raw thrill machine, probably habit raw for a daily driver...
I'll keep an eye out to see if one pops up nearby for a test drive...
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      11-27-2012, 03:29 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HughiusMaximus View Post
How's it going guys?

Tempted by the Z4 M Roadster, they are starting to pop up on auto trader for around 11k now, and from what I have read its an awful lot of car for the money!

What are the thoughts of the people who have had them?
Is the M model worth the extra cash over the standard 3 litre?
Wouldn't be using it as the daily driver, just as a weekend thrill machine so less concerned about running costs, more about depreciation....

Any input welcome!
I had a 2003 3.0i and a 2008 Z4M. The M is the best choice for a weekend car. Both cars have harsh suspension and the M is a bit firmer but doesn't have RFTs either.

There is little price differential between the later 3.0si and M cars; go for the M. As a daily I would probably pick the 3.0si, 40mpg on a motorway run...out on hoon though the M is very quick and of course has the diff.

I reckon the M will depreciate much less. You could pick up a Sepang for a good price back when I had one but I think fashions have changed a little since.

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      03-31-2013, 06:44 AM   #12
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Just about ready to start the buying process, any advice on the usual faults to watch out for in a second hand purchase?

I have seen one advertised at a good price but it has a 5 speed manual as opposed to the usual 6 speed.

Is this a big deal in anyone's opinion?
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      03-31-2013, 07:05 AM   #13
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There is a 15, 000 mile coupe for sale close to me.

Out of curiosity I typed the registration to get a quote for an approved BMW warranty.

It was 1265 per year or 112 per month.

A bit pricey for such a low mileage car.
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      03-31-2013, 10:55 AM   #14
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Do it. I had an Interlagos Blue Z4M Coupe for 2 years and if I didn't have kids now would still have it. The 335i was the closest 4 door I could get (without spending on a newish 4 door M3!) but the engine on that M is night and day when it comes to comparisons. It's like an animal that keeps goading you to go further. Combined with that chassis and drive train it's a wonder.

Seriously do yourself a favour and try one. You have to learn how to drive again to a certain extent but my god is it worth it. Roadsters look good but for future classic and higher residuals save a little extra for the coupe. I'll be returning one day I'm sure.
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      03-31-2013, 11:05 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HughiusMaximus View Post
Just about ready to start the buying process, any advice on the usual faults to watch out for in a second hand purchase?

I have seen one advertised at a good price but it has a 5 speed manual as opposed to the usual 6 speed.

Is this a big deal in anyone's opinion?
Z4M only ever made as a 6 speed.
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      03-31-2013, 11:55 AM   #16
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Quote:
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Z4M only ever made as a 6 speed.
That's what I thought, buy the owner has confirmed that its a 5 speed.

Are there any known faults to watch out for?
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      03-31-2013, 12:00 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HughiusMaximus View Post
That's what I thought, buy the owner has confirmed that its a 5 speed.

Are there any known faults to watch out for?
If you're looking at the M the S54 engine is pretty bullet proof to be honest. You could check the control arm bushes but to be honest if you check it's been regularly serviced and not regularly tracked you should have too many problems.

If you decide on a roadster then the roof motors are a little suspect sometimes as they collect water, so check for ease of use under button control and listen for any extreme groaning.

Otherwise it's all gravy.
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      03-31-2013, 03:11 PM   #18
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Got a Z3M Coupe last year. 14 years old & 49k.

In that process I almost talked myself into a Z4M. But the Z3M was the car I always wanted.

In terms of price they are very similar & if you want an S54 engine in a Z3M you are looking at much more than a Z4M. I think the Z3M Coupe has already leveled off in the price stakes where as Z4 has yet to level off.
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      04-01-2013, 01:56 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HughiusMaximus View Post
That's what I thought, buy the owner has confirmed that its a 5 speed.

Are there any known faults to watch out for?
The only S54 with a 5 speed is the Z3M. I'd be interested to understand more about this particular Z4M. Is the owner very 'car savvy'? It might be that a 5 speed knob has been fitted but its actually a 6 speed box and they don't realise they have a 6th ratio!
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      04-01-2013, 02:57 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texasjohn View Post
The only S54 with a 5 speed is the Z3M. I'd be interested to understand more about this particular Z4M. Is the owner very 'car savvy'? It might be that a 5 speed knob has been fitted but its actually a 6 speed box and they don't realise they have a 6th ratio!
That's what I was thinking.
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      04-01-2013, 05:28 AM   #21
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If I remember rightly from my Z4M the six speed M sport gear knob is lit up via a little bulb in it ... If it has been changed one would have to ask why ... And what else has been potentially replaced with the wrong bit ...
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      04-01-2013, 07:09 AM   #22
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abbot26 View Post
An ex girlfriend of mine had the Alpina roaster S, same sort of power as the M but very rare on our roads, sounded fantastic when you floored it...
Let me guess, she became an ex as soon as she sold it...
Nope I believe she still has it, plus a new focus RS as a company car. I'd be tempted to get an alpina myself but am 6'7" tall and can't squeeze myself behind the wheel...
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