From £28,880
The Z Coupé is the new rogue in BMW’s range, but a loveable one at that, and at £10k under the Z4M Coupé, the 3.0 is a steal.

Our Verdict

BMW Z4
The BMW Z4 has more comfort and added practicality, but has it gone soft?

The BMW Z4 is a fine-looking two-seat roadster with indifferent driving dynamics

What is it? The new coupé version of the BMW Z4. It’s strictly a two-seater, but I swear I just heard a third voice (other than the photographer’s) in the cabin. A voice whispering in my ear “261bhp and rear-wheel drive, go on, switch the traction control off”. That’s the thing with the Z Coupé: it’s like driving with the devil perched on your shoulder, egging you to go faster, make some noise and live a little. BMW penned the Z4 Coupé at the same time as the roadster, but with a raft of more mainstream models to launch it got sidelined. Last time BMW stretched a metal roof over its Z roadster, the Z3, UK buyers were offered only the M-version, but this time BMW is importing the 3.0si, too. What’s it like? With 2651bhp from the its lightweight 3.0-litre straight six, it’s anything but ordinary – there’s enough shove to get to 62mph in 5.7sec and on to 155mph. And at £31,400, the 3.0si SE costs £10,000 less than the M-version, a saving that means sacrificing the M-differential and making do with the Z4’s economy minded electric steering and run-flat tyres. But you still get a bodyshell twice a stiff as the roadster’s, a fact that’s evident from the moment you commit the Z Coupé into a bend; no hesitation, no understeer, just satisfying balance. True, the runflats rob a little composure and the steering doesn’t have the right level of feel, but it remains a great drive. You also get the same radical styling: muscular haunches and double-bubble roof. Pictures don’t do the shape justice. Should I buy one? The Z Coupé is not without its faults: rear visibility is poor, while tyre noise and suspect materials all grate. But there’s a lot to like, too: that splendid engine, the slick gearchange and feelsome brakes and the semi-useful hatchback boot. Most of all, however, it’s the car’s soul that’ll hook you: the Z Coupé is the new rogue in BMW’s range, but a loveable one at that. Jamie Corstorphine

Join the debate

Comments
1

7 December 2010

I'd love one. & i'd ditch the idiotic runflat tires.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • 2016 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron UK review
    First Drive
    29 September 2016
    First UK drive finds the facelifted A3 Sportback e-tron remains a first-rate plug-in hybrid that is packed with tech if a little short on driver appeal
  • Citroen C11.2 Puretech 82 Furio
    First Drive
    29 September 2016
    Citroën's city car gets a new sporty-looking trim level, adding visual adornments, but no premium for the 1.2-litre Puretech triple we're driving
  • Mercedes C350e Sport
    First Drive
    28 September 2016
    Petrol-electric C-Class is a surprisingly well-priced alternative to a diesel but not the greatest example of the new ‘PHEV’ breed
  • Car review
    23 September 2016
    Aston kicks off its ‘second century plan’ with an all-new turbo V12 grand tourer
  • Ford Ka+ 1.2 Ti-VCT 85
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    A rounded, refined and well-sorted bargain supermini – once you’re used to the confusing role redefinition imposed on the once-cheeky Ka