RE: ?BMW Z4 3.0si Coupe: Spotted

RE: ?BMW Z4 3.0si Coupe: Spotted

Wednesday 13th December 2017

​BMW Z4 3.0si Coupe: Spotted

Why the thinking man's fast Z4 still makes sense a decade later



Yes, really, the 3.0si is the quick Z4 to have over the M car. Rather, there are plenty of arguments to support that point, and it therefore makes quite an interesting subject to home in on from ye olde PH classifieds.


What was the M car's problem? The other M car. The Z4 M shared an engine with the E46 M3, yet never quite delivered on the promise of the sharper, more precise sports car that should have come from something smaller and slimmer. It was tricky when pushed, spiky when provoked and not exactly in keeping with the M car style. Entertaining by some accounts, yes, though in the same way a rollercoaster without restraints might be: your heart rate is raised and the experience is memorable, but it was as much about survival as anything else.

So why not save a bit of cash - like so many naturally aspirated M cars, the Z4 is climbing up the appreciation curve - and plump for a Z4 3.0si instead? Here was a car described as "undoubtedly engineered for people who want to drive, not just pose", offering more than 260hp from a lovely BMW straight six (remember those?) through a six-speed manual gearbox and the rear wheels. It wasn't as frenzied as a Z4 M, sure, but then it wasn't as scary either.


There's a case to say that the Z4 Coupe looks more desirable than ever, too. No, really, there is. Not only are Bangle-influenced designs still appearing fresh and modern, but the prospect of BMW doing another car in this mould looks highly unlikely. The next Z4 will likely maintain the coupe-convertible cruiser thing introduced with the previous car, every engine will be turbocharged at the very least and people will look at you weirdly for wanting a manual. Right now the closest equivalent would be a 228i; far more staid in appearance, and powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder. Hmm. Finally, don't forget that this was the only era of Z-car in which BMW offered non-M coupes, making it even rarer (European markets received Z3 coupes).

This 3.0si is lovely. Well, it looks to be. Black with CSL replica wheels, it still has presence and style that belie its age. It has covered just 50,000 miles in its 10 years of existence and the advert is full of encouraging details: it's an approved used BMW, it's always been serviced at BMW, it's still under a BMW warranty and the Goodyear tyres are near-as-dammit brand new. So if you're after a Z4 Coupe this looks like one of the best.


The mid-2000s was a good era for the sports coupe though, before everybody realised that they wanted a Sports Activity Coupe instead. The very best Nissan 350Zs, for example, are available for less money and with fewer miles than the Z4. If power is a priority you then a Monaro is in budget, or you could want an Audi TT. You probably don't, but you could. In fact the most appealing alternative to the Z4 could be another BMW - that aforementioned E46 M3. Cars are still available in budget, although if the looks of the Z4 appeal then the slightly plain M3 might seem a bit boring.

Plenty of reasons to go for it, and seemingly not too many against the Z4, then. Although that's just our view - what about yours? Are your ownership and buying stories good, or bad? Over to you...


SPECIFICATION - BMW Z4 30si

Engine: 2,996cc, inline-6
Transmission: 6-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 265@6,600rpm
Torque (lb ft): 232@2,750rpm
MPG: N/A
CO2: N/A
First registered: 2006
Recorded mileage: 53,000miles
Price new: £31,400
Yours for: £13,000

See the original advert here



[Source: evo]

Author
Discussion

paulyv

Original Poster:

481 posts

54 months

Wednesday 13th December 2017
quotequote all
I'll get my popcorn for this one.

I ran a 3.0si sport for about 2-and-a-half years, only seeing the shapely back of it in July. I don't think anyone commenting on here will argue it does not have inherent issues, all of which are well documented in these forums, but a fettle or two can see the car behave far more like one should expect it to. It was a magnet for stone-chips and I never did have a rattle-free drive from the interior however.

All that said I would love another one over the stated alternatives. Low, more than fast enough for my liking, and with a peach of an engine that could return a supposed 45mpg with a light right foot. Not that I often attained such figures as the noise and sensation of being hurled forward by the rear tyres which were positioned seemingly directly below ones bum was far too addictive.

Took it on Silverstone National with some professional tuition at a PHSS once and it became clear just how good the car could be - we got nowhere near it's limits despite our best efforts.

Did I mention the interior rattled a lot though?

sdiggle

40 posts

21 months

Wednesday 13th December 2017
quotequote all
Yes please!!! Super looking and a great engine. Although 13k....hmmmm

*Al*

3,829 posts

153 months

Wednesday 13th December 2017
quotequote all
I had one of these a few years back, great cars but as usual ditch the runflats as it ruins the ride. I can only see these rise in value in the coming years as not too many were registered in the UK. Would I have another? Hell yes!

Fishy Dave

442 posts

176 months

Wednesday 13th December 2017
quotequote all
On the M "yet never quite delivered on the promise of the sharper, more precise sports car that should have come from something smaller and slimmer. It was tricky when pushed, spiky when provoked and not exactly in keeping with the M car style. "

It just needs different springs, ideally dampers too and it's sorted. Great cars.

ryanthescot

279 posts

85 months

Wednesday 13th December 2017
quotequote all
did these have open or limited slip differentials? would be a waste of money if it's open.
Advertisement

Paddy78

94 posts

77 months

Wednesday 13th December 2017
quotequote all
Comments about the harsh ride and run-flats aside (Both can be remedied relatively cheaply), these still look great and aren't getting any cheaper.

I've twice thought of getting one, but chose a 350Z and an old 911 instead on those occasions... I must have run out of alternatives now though! smile

oceanview

843 posts

62 months

Wednesday 13th December 2017
quotequote all
I've had mine 18 months, now. Really are great cars (electric steering not great but much better with decent non-run flats and proper alignment), fantastic revvy engine and I think they look great (which is why they originally appealed) and they are rare, don't really depreciate and just feel special to drive compared to the usual suspects.

Any car on original suspension will have tired/knackered dampers by now- I changed mine for a nice set of Bilsteins and fitted new suplex springs all round. Also new drop-links , poly bush for front and rear anti-roll bars, along with, crucially a PROPER alignment- one that ignores the original BMW settings and set up for "fastroad" use, instead. Mine was carried out at a dedicated motorsport alignment garage.
All these additions made a huge difference, for the better, to the drive!

Great cars, that you don't see everywhere- the prices seem to be holding and even rising slightly, so got to be a "modern classic" already!

Mines in stratus grey- even fewer coupes in this colour.




Edited by oceanview on Wednesday 13th December 13:12

SpudLink

2,091 posts

123 months

Wednesday 13th December 2017
quotequote all
oceanview said:
I've had mine 18 months, now. Really are great cars (electric steering not great but much better with decent non-run flats and proper alignment), fantastic revvy engine and I think they look great (which is why they originally appealed) and they are rare, don't really depreciate and just feel special to drive compared to the usual suspects.

Any car on original suspension will have tired/knackered dampers by now- I changed mine for a nice set of Bilsteins and fitted new suplex springs all round. Also new drop-links , poly bush for front and rear anti-roll bars, along with, crucially a PROPER alignment- one that ignores the original BMW settings and set up for "fastroad" use, instead. Mine was carried out at a dedicated motorsport alignment garage.
All these additions made a huge difference, for the better, to the drive!

Great cars, that you don't see everywhere- the prices seem to be holding and even rising slightly, so got to be a "modern classic" already!

Mines in stratus grey- even fewer coupes in this colour.



Impressive grip.

I’ve had mine for years, but can’t bring myself to part with it. Future classic for sure.

Diamond Dave

18 posts

130 months

Wednesday 13th December 2017
quotequote all
I've got one of these and I just love it! This is my second, the first one I had new 10 years ago and I enjoyed it so much I swapped my 18 month old Golf R for another a year or so ago. The engine is a peach and whilst I agree about the rattles most of mine have been cured with spray silicon Swapping the run-flats for Avons also greatly improved the ride and wet weather grip. The Z4 is my daily drive and it puts a smile on my face every time I get in it.

GroundEffect

10,828 posts

87 months

Wednesday 13th December 2017
quotequote all
I had one.



Identical to the above.

I wanted to love it.

I hated it.

- Steering has zero feel and the electric system is slow and dim-whitted
- Lack of LSD made it frustrating
- It was very claustrophobic inside; had all the compromises of a convertible but without the big positive

Lovely engine though. And ridiculous fuel economy (40mpg+ easily possible).

Sold it, bought a Z4 M Roadster and didn't look back.


mr alan

2,030 posts

121 months

Wednesday 13th December 2017
quotequote all


Had mine since August and love it, not found any faults yet to speak of so still happy with it.

Gummi

21 posts

30 months

Wednesday 13th December 2017
quotequote all
I have had mine since the end of May 2016 and have covered 20,000 miles so far, including 3200ish mile road trip (London > Heidelberg > Stuttgart > Munich > Zell am See > Großglockner Pass > Ljubljana > Venice > Garda > Stelvio Pass > Davos > Lucerne > Vosege Mountains > Luxembourg > Valenciennes > London).

It is a fantastic all round car, both for commuting and "proper driving". More than fast enough for the real world, averages 31ish mpg normally, 35 on a longer journey. On the autobahn I hit a 165mph (GPS) and still pulling (yes, I was rather surprised too...). The passes in the Alps were massive fun, though the effects of altitude on a NA engine can be felt over 2000m.

I can fit a road or CX bike (58cm frame) in the boot. The wheels and seat post have to be off but that's less than 5mins effort. With the bike and wheels in the boot there's still space for a couple of duffle bags and other cycling related stuff.

Mine was BMW approved used, which was a good thing as it has needed some warranty work for age related issues. I've put it on BMW extended warranty for piece of mind, though its probably not necessary. The GPS interface is old but still works well, even in Europe.

I replaced the awful runflats with Goodyear Eagle Asymmetric 3s - ride is more composed and much quieter. I have a second set of wheels with winter tyres too, which make a huge difference too (useful over the past few days!). I still haven't got around to removing the CDV but I've learnt to drive around it. To be honest unless you want to launch from stationary its not much bother, especially as most of the power is higher up in the rev range.

Next jobs will be suspension refresh in about 5k miles, Inspection I due about the same time. I might also get the exhaust modified by one of the Z4forum members to bring out some more noise but even standard it still sounds great.

I can't think of anything I'd want to replace it with short of a manual 991.1 Carrera 2 GTS. I sometimes think that I drive it too much as values are holding/slowly going up but life is too short to drive sh*t cars so I'm going to continue enjoying it.


culpz

3,893 posts

43 months

Wednesday 13th December 2017
quotequote all
It think that these look spot on, in coupe form. I see one on my daily commute home and i can't help but admire it. The stance looks fantastic too but i think it has been lowered a bit.

A lad i know has got one in automatic form. He's fond of it but seems to prefer going for proper drives in his MK1 supercharged MX5, but i suppose that's no surprise really.

Edited by culpz on Wednesday 13th December 15:35

Usget

4,266 posts

142 months

Wednesday 13th December 2017
quotequote all
In other news, there are some other examples available much more cheaply than the one in the advert. This one, for example, looks a peach.

https://www.pistonheads.com/classifieds/used-cars/...

unsprung

2,103 posts

55 months

Wednesday 13th December 2017
quotequote all

One of the very few cars for which I would almost instantly swap my current whip (see PH profile). Such a sense of occasion in an otherwise thoroughly modern car.

Perfect for singletons and happy couples. An incitement to road trips, whether along local B roads or conquering countless long-distance miles (I salute the chap above who's been all over the Continent).

Is there any other affordable contemporary car with lines that bring to life such classical beauty? "Carpe Diem," it whispers.




J4CKO

24,526 posts

131 months

Wednesday 13th December 2017
quotequote all
Wow,13 grand for a ten year old non M car, that kind of money will get you a 2/3 year newer 370Z with another 80 or so bhp or all manner of other stuff, not least one of these and a good few quid change, maybe even the odd Z4M convertible.

SpudLink

2,091 posts

123 months

Wednesday 13th December 2017
quotequote all
J4CKO said:
Wow,13 grand for a ten year old non M car, that kind of money will get you a 2/3 year newer 370Z with another 80 or so bhp or all manner of other stuff, not least one of these and a good few quid change, maybe even the odd Z4M convertible.
When I bought mine in 2012 the Z4M was available for about the same money I paid for the 3.0si. But as described in the article, as a real world every day car this is a cracker.

Usget

4,266 posts

142 months

Wednesday 13th December 2017
quotequote all
J4CKO said:
Wow,13 grand for a ten year old non M car, that kind of money will get you a 2/3 year newer 370Z with another 80 or so bhp or all manner of other stuff, not least one of these and a good few quid change, maybe even the odd Z4M convertible.
Yeah but what will the 370 be worth in three years? The Z4 will probably still be worth £10k or more.

cmoose

41,948 posts

160 months

Wednesday 13th December 2017
quotequote all
Ageing remarkably gracefully. Super engine. Nice low driving position for a proper sports car cabin ambience. Practical (in context). Cheap to run. Loads to like about these cars.

I tried to talk myself into one earlier this year but couldn't quite do it. The appeal is strong. It ticks a lot of boxes and I suspect would be a very cost effective long-term proposition versus the Porsche alternative. But it's missing a bit from the primary controls and chassis. That might well be fixable. But I'd have to take a punt to find out.

Few other details niggled but it was a close call and am sure I could enjoy one a lot if fate imposed a Z4 coupe upon me. In short, about 100 times more appealing than anything BMW sells currently. One of the last interesting driver's cars BMW made. Deffo future classic material.

Edited by cmoose on Wednesday 13th December 14:48

*Al*

3,829 posts

153 months

Wednesday 13th December 2017
quotequote all
Usget said:
J4CKO said:
Wow,13 grand for a ten year old non M car, that kind of money will get you a 2/3 year newer 370Z with another 80 or so bhp or all manner of other stuff, not least one of these and a good few quid change, maybe even the odd Z4M convertible.
Yeah but what will the 370 be worth in three years? The Z4 will probably still be worth £10k or more.
Hopefully the 370z (great car which I preferred over my Z4 coupe) will hold it's money. smile