From £28,880
The 3.0-litre six is a delight, but the Z4's lack of steering feel and its chassis flex detract.
Autocar
3 May 2006

What’s new? Minor cosmetic changes to improve aerodynamic efficiency, but the real treat rumbles under that aluminium bonnet — it’s the world’s lightest production six-cylinder engine. 10kg lighter than the unit it replaces, it offers improved performance and fuel consumption thanks to variable valve technology.What’s it like? Very fast — not that the previous 3.0-litre was slow. The torque peak now comes earlier, which helps shave 0.2 seconds from the 0-60mph sprint. There’s a meaty burble at low revs that gives way to a creamy scream towards the red line, and a sweet six-speed gearbox.Sadly, the Z4 still languishes behind its rivals for driver appeal. The electric power steering is imprecise when you’re pushing along a B-road enthusiastically, and the chassis begins to flex noticeably under heavier loads.Should I buy one? Maybe. The Porsche Boxster is the driver’s choice, and the Merc SLK is a more polished cruiser. But this engine is a cracker, and the Z4 is not without its charms.Jon Quirk

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