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

5 July 2006

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

  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK
  • Volvo V90
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The Volvo V90 is a big estate ploughing its own furrow. We’re about to see if it is refreshing or misguided
  • Kia Stonic
    First Drive
    18 October 2017
    Handsome entrant into the bulging small crossover market has a strong engine and agile handling, but isn’t as comfortable or complete as rivals