2006 BMW Z4 Trims and Specs

Air Conditioning Air filtration · Front air conditioning
Airbags Dual front airbags · Dual front knee airbags · Passenger airbag deactivation: occupant sensing deactivation · Front side airbags
Audio System Audio security system · Single disc in-Dash CD · AM/FM radio · Radio Data System · 1 subwoofer
Brakes ABS: 4-wheel · Braking assist · Electronic brakeforce distribution · Front brakes: ventilated disc · Rear brakes: ventilated disc
Comfort Features Center console trim: alloy · Dash trim: alloy · Door trim: alloy · Floor Mat Material: carpet · Floor Mats: front · Shift knob trim: leather · Steering wheel trim: leather
Convenience Features Cargo area light · Cruise control · Cupholders: front · Front power outlet · Multi-function remote: trunk release, keyless entry · Power steering · Retained accessory power · Steering wheel: tilt and telescopic · Steering wheel mounted controls: audio · Storage: door pockets
Driver Seat Manual adjustments: 8
Headrests Front headrests: adjustable
Instrumentation Clock · External temperature display · Tachometer · Warnings and reminders: low fuel level, tire fill alert
Lights Daytime running lights · Front fog lights · Headlights: Auto on/off, auto delay off · Taillights: adaptive
Mirrors Exterior mirrors: power, heated
Passenger Seat Manual Adjustments
Roof Convertible rear window: glass · Convertible roof: manual
Safety Child seat anchors · Emergency interior trunk release · Rollover Protection System
Seatbelts Seatbelt force limiters · Seatbelt pretensioners
Seats Front seat type: sport · Upholstery: vinyl
Security Engine immobilizer · Power door locks · Rolling code security
Stability and Traction Hill Ascent Assist · Stability control · Traction control
Suspension Front Suspension Classification: independent · Front Suspension Type: MacPherson struts · Rear Suspension Classification: independent · Rear Suspension Type: multi-link · Stabilizer bar(s): front, rear
Telematics Phone: pre-wired for phone
Tires Run flat · Tire Pressure Monitoring System · Type: performance
Tires and Rims 17 Inch Wheels · W Speed Rated Tires
Windows Front wipers: rain sensing, intermittent · Heated windshield washer jets · Power windows: remote operation · Rear defogger
Price $36,295 MSRP
Body Style Convertible
Engine 3.0L 215 hp I6
Seating 2
Fuel Economy
18MPG city
28MPG highway
Drivetrain RWD

Price

MSRP$36,295
Invoice$32,575

Transmission Options

Drivetrain RWD
6-Speed Manual
Fuel Economy
18MPG city
28MPG highway
6-Speed Automatic
Fuel Economy
18MPG city
27MPG highway

Safety

Driver AirbagStandard
Passenger AirbagStandard
Front Side AirbagsStandard
Rear Side Airbags--
Curtain Airbags--
ABS BrakesStandard

Amenities

Sunroof/Moonroof--
Air ConditioningStandard
Leather SeatsOptional
Power SeatsDriver: Optional
Passenger: Optional
Power WindowsStandard
Power Door LocksStandard
Navigation System--
StereoRadio, CD Player

Engine

3.0L 215 hp I6
Power 215 hp @ 6,250 RPM
Torque 185 lb-ft @ 2,750 RPM

Dimensions

Maximum Seating2 seats
Fuel Tank Volume14 gal
Front Legroom42 in
Back Legroom--
Wheelbase98.2 in
Length161.1 in
Width70.1 in
Height51.1 in

Cargo and Towing

Cargo Volume8.5 cu ft
2006 was the year for Z4 upgrades, with new technology and engine offerings available in the roadster. One of those new engines for the roadster was the N52 model inline six that usual... Read More
2006 was the year for Z4 upgrades, with new technology and engine offerings available in the roadster.
One of those new engines for the roadster was the N52 model inline six that usually powers 3 Series sedans. Displacing 3.0 liters, BMW built it with a magnesium-and-aluminum hybrid block casting to keep the weight down. Innovating further, they added their Vanos/Valvetronic variable valve system, which varies lift and timing to such a degree that the engine’s breathing is actually controlled by the valves and not the throttles. This technology not only produces more power, but actually improves gas mileage. The 3.0-liter six produces 215 hp with 185 lb-ft of torque at 2,750 rpm on the way to a melodious 7,000 rpm redline. A six-speed manual is standard with a six-speed Steptronic and, for a limited time, a SMG automated manual transmission as options. The EPA rates the 3.0i at an amazing 20/30 mpg (manual) and 21/29 (automatic).
But sports cars exist for the twisties, and the Z4 loves them. The Z4's suspension is an evolution of the M3’s underpinnings, with a strut-type front suspension and a mulilink setup in the rear. BMW engineers claim the Z4 roadster is 100 percent more structurally rigid than its Z3 predecessor. Reviewers have noted an absence of the dreaded roadster “cowl shake.” Motor Trend measured 0.94 g on their skidpad for a 3.0si roadster. But they were not happy with the slight disconnect between road and driver they felt. They suspect it was due to the Z4’s new electronically assisted steering, which they claim doesn’t subjectively equal the old-fashioned hydraulic type. Other reviewers found that the Z4’s array of Dynamic Stability and Dynamic Traction Control systems in combination with its 50/50 front/rear weight distribution allowed them to dial in the perfect combination of control for “spirited” driving.
Getting into the low-slung Roadster's cockpit is not for awkward people, but once inside BMW “solidity and style” surround you. The style, however, is that of a dedicated sports car, not a luxury grand touring machine. The dash layout is simple, and all the controls are at your fingertips. Wood and real brushed aluminum are also there, but the focus is on the road. A tilt/telescoping steering wheel is standard. The 6-way manually adjustable seats are contoured for spirited driving and can be upgraded to tighter-fitting M Sports seats. A manually operated convertible top with a heated rear glass window is standard, with an optional automatic top that takes 7 seconds to drop. Further, the convertible top retains a usable 8.5-cubic-foot trunk as it becomes its own tonneau cover when folded.
The Z4 earned four out of five stars in NHTSA frontal-impact crash tests. Every model is equipped with BMW’s standard array of safety features, including front airbags, active knee protection for driver and passenger, rollover protection with rollbars and a reinforced windshield frame, adaptive brake lights, and BMW’s full range of electronic brake system wizardry.
Adds to Roadster 3.0i:
No additional major features.
Air Conditioning Air filtration · Automatic climate control front air conditioning
Airbags Dual front airbags · Dual front knee airbags · Passenger airbag deactivation: occupant sensing deactivation · Front side airbags
Audio System Audio security system · Single disc in-Dash CD · MP3 player: CD MP3 Playback · Carver premium brand · AM/FM radio · Radio Data System · 1 subwoofer
Brakes ABS: 4-wheel · Braking assist · Electronic brakeforce distribution · Front brakes: ventilated disc · Rear brakes: ventilated disc
Comfort Features Center console trim: alloy, leather · Dash trim: alloy · Door trim: leather · Shift knob trim: alloy, leather · Steering wheel trim: leather
Convenience Features Cargo area light · Cargo cover · Cruise control · Cupholders: front · Multi-function remote: trunk release, keyless entry · Power steering · Reading lights: front · Steering wheel: tilt and telescopic · Steering wheel mounted controls: audio · Storage: door pockets
Driver Seat Manual adjustments: 8
Instrumentation Clock · External temperature display · Tachometer · Trip computer · Warnings and reminders: low fuel level, tire fill alert
Lights Daytime running lights · Front fog lights · Headlights: Auto on/off · Taillights: adaptive
Mirrors Exterior mirrors: power, heated
Passenger Seat Manual Adjustments
Safety Child seat anchors
Seatbelts Seatbelt force limiters · Seatbelt pretensioners
Seats Front seat type: sport · Upholstery: leather
Security Engine immobilizer · Power door locks · Rolling code security
Stability and Traction Hill Ascent Assist · Stability control · Traction control
Suspension Front Suspension Classification: independent · Front Suspension Type: MacPherson struts · Rear Suspension Classification: independent · Rear Suspension Type: multi-link · Stabilizer bar(s): front, rear
Telematics Phone: pre-wired for phone
Tires Run flat · Tire Pressure Monitoring System · Type: performance
Tires and Rims 17 Inch Wheels · W Speed Rated Tires
Windows Front wipers: rain sensing, intermittent · Heated windshield washer jets · Power windows: remote operation · Rear defogger
Price $40,795 MSRP
Body Style Coupe
Engine 3.0L 255 hp I6
Seating 2
Fuel Economy
18MPG city
28MPG highway
Drivetrain RWD

Price

MSRP$40,795
Invoice$36,490

Transmission Options

Drivetrain RWD
6-Speed Manual
Fuel Economy
18MPG city
28MPG highway
6-Speed Automatic
Fuel Economy
18MPG city
27MPG highway

Safety

Driver AirbagStandard
Passenger AirbagStandard
Front Side AirbagsStandard
Rear Side Airbags--
Curtain Airbags--
ABS BrakesStandard

Amenities

Sunroof/Moonroof--
Air ConditioningStandard
Leather SeatsStandard
Power SeatsDriver: Optional
Passenger: Optional
Power WindowsStandard
Power Door LocksStandard
Navigation System--
StereoRadio, CD Player

Engine

3.0L 255 hp I6
Power 255 hp @ 6,600 RPM
Torque 220 lb-ft @ 2,750 RPM

Dimensions

Maximum Seating2 seats
Fuel Tank Volume14 gal
Front Legroom42 in
Back Legroom--
Wheelbase98.2 in
Length161.1 in
Width70.1 in
Height49.9 in

Cargo and Towing

Cargo Volume10.1 cu ft
2006 was the year for Z4 upgrades, with new engine offerings and the addition of the sensuous hatchback coupe. While the roadster’s styling had remained controversial, it seems that the... Read More
2006 was the year for Z4 upgrades, with new engine offerings and the addition of the sensuous hatchback coupe. While the roadster’s styling had remained controversial, it seems that the coupe with its sloping, double-bubble roof was a runaway success.
One of the new engine offerings came securely bolted to the coupe as the 3.0si. This N52 model inline six usually powers 3 Series sedans, and it’s a jewel. Displacing 3.0 liters, BMW built it with a magnesium-and-aluminum hybrid block casting to keep the weight down. Innovating further, they added their Valvetronic variable valve system which varies lift and timing to such a degree that the engine’s breathing is actually controlled by the valves and not the throttles. This technology not only produces more power, but actually improves gas mileage. The 3.0-liter six produces 255 hp with 220 lb-ft of torque at 2,750 rpm on the way to a melodious 7,000 rpm redline. A six-speed manual is standard with a six-speed Steptronic optional. Car and Driver saw 0-60 flash by in 5.5 seconds. The EPA rates the 3.0si at an amazing 20/30 mpg, while Car and Driver observed 21 mpg.
But sports cars exist for the twisties, and the Z4 coupe loves them. The Z4 suspension is an evolution of the M3’s underpinnings with a strut-type front suspension and a multilink setup in the rear. Car and Driver measured 0.93 g on their skidpad, remarking that this puts the Z4 “in the Crazy Blue class.” They praised the “precise steering and resolute brakes,” yet found the Sports Package option with 18-inch wheels resulted in a ride that was “downright nervous on imperfect surfaces,” calling for “constant correction and allowing little relaxation.” Most reviews concurred, saying that while the Z4 exhibited “supreme handling,” everyday driving paid a “ride penalty” on less-than-perfect roads.
Getting into the cockpit is not for awkward people, but once inside, BMW “solidity and style” surround you. The style, however, is that of a dedicated sports car, not a luxury grand tourer. The dash layout is simple, and all the controls are at your fingertips. Wood and real brushed aluminum are also there, but the focus is on the road. The 6-way manually adjustable seats are contoured for spirited driving and can be upgraded to tighter-fitting M Sports seats. Behind the seats the hatchback coupe offers 12.0 cubic feet of rear cargo space – about the same as a midsize sedan.
The Z4 earned four out of five stars in NHTSA frontal-impact crash tests. Every model is equipped with BMW’s standard array of safety features, including its full range of electronic brake system wizardry.
Reviewers picked the Z4 Coupe over its sibling roadster as their preferred “sports car” because of its solid feel that resulted in a “more performance-oriented ride.”
Adds to Roadster 3.0i:
No additional major features.
Air Conditioning Air filtration · Automatic climate control front air conditioning
Airbags Dual front airbags · Dual front knee airbags · Passenger airbag deactivation: occupant sensing deactivation · Front side airbags
Audio System Audio security system · Single disc in-Dash CD · Carver premium brand · AM/FM radio · Radio Data System · 1 subwoofer
Brakes ABS: 4-wheel · Braking assist · Electronic brakeforce distribution · Front brakes: ventilated disc · Rear brakes: ventilated disc
Comfort Features Center console trim: alloy · Dash trim: alloy · Door trim: alloy · Floor Mat Material: carpet · Floor Mats: front · Shift knob trim: leather · Steering wheel trim: leather
Convenience Features Cargo area light · Cruise control · Cupholders: front · Front power outlet · Multi-function remote: trunk release, keyless entry · Power steering · Reading lights: front · Retained accessory power · Steering wheel: tilt and telescopic · Steering wheel mounted controls: audio · Storage: door pockets
Driver Seat Manual adjustments: 8
Headrests Front headrests: adjustable
Instrumentation Clock · External temperature display · Tachometer · Trip computer · Warnings and reminders: low fuel level, tire fill alert
Lights Daytime running lights · Front fog lights · Headlights: Auto on/off, auto delay off · Taillights: adaptive
Mirrors Exterior mirrors: power, heated
Passenger Seat Manual Adjustments
Roof Convertible rear window: glass · Convertible roof: soft top, manual
Safety Child seat anchors · Emergency interior trunk release · Rollover Protection System
Seatbelts Seatbelt force limiters · Seatbelt pretensioners
Seats Front seat type: sport · Upholstery: leather
Security Engine immobilizer · Power door locks · Rolling code security
Stability and Traction Hill Ascent Assist · Stability control · Traction control
Suspension Front Suspension Classification: independent · Front Suspension Type: MacPherson struts · Rear Suspension Classification: independent · Rear Suspension Type: multi-link · Stabilizer bar(s): front, rear
Telematics Phone: pre-wired for phone
Tires Run flat · Tire Pressure Monitoring System · Type: performance
Tires and Rims 17 Inch Wheels · W Speed Rated Tires
Windows Front wipers: rain sensing, intermittent · Heated windshield washer jets · Power windows: remote operation · Rear defogger
Price $42,795 MSRP
Body Style Convertible
Engine 3.0L 255 hp I6
Seating 2
Fuel Economy
18MPG city
28MPG highway
Drivetrain RWD

Price

MSRP$42,795
Invoice$38,490

Transmission Options

Drivetrain RWD
6-Speed Manual
Fuel Economy
18MPG city
28MPG highway
6-Speed Automatic
Fuel Economy
18MPG city
27MPG highway

Safety

Driver AirbagStandard
Passenger AirbagStandard
Front Side AirbagsStandard
Rear Side Airbags--
Curtain Airbags--
ABS BrakesStandard

Amenities

Sunroof/Moonroof--
Air ConditioningStandard
Leather SeatsStandard
Power SeatsDriver: Optional
Passenger: Optional
Power WindowsStandard
Power Door LocksStandard
Navigation System--
StereoRadio, CD Player

Engine

3.0L 255 hp I6
Power 255 hp @ 6,600 RPM
Torque 220 lb-ft @ 2,750 RPM

Dimensions

Maximum Seating2 seats
Fuel Tank Volume14 gal
Front Legroom42 in
Back Legroom--
Wheelbase98.2 in
Length161.1 in
Width70.1 in
Height51.1 in

Cargo and Towing

Cargo Volume8.5 cu ft
2006 was the year for Z4 upgrades, with new engine offerings and the addition of the sensuous hatchback Coupe, while the Roadster’s styling remained controversial. One of the new engin... Read More
2006 was the year for Z4 upgrades, with new engine offerings and the addition of the sensuous hatchback Coupe, while the Roadster’s styling remained controversial.
One of the new engine offerings available for the Roadster was the N52 model inline six that usually powers 3 Series sedans. Displacing 3.0 liters, BMW built it with a magnesium-and-aluminum hybrid block casting to keep the weight down. Innovating further, they added their Vanos/Valvetronic variable valve system which varies lift and timing to such a degree that the engine’s breathing is actually controlled by the valves and not the throttles. This technology not only produces more power, but actually improves gas mileage. The 3.0-liter six produces 255 hp with 220 lb-ft of torque at 2,750 rpm on the way to a melodious 7,000-rpm redline. A six-speed manual is standard, with a six-speed Steptronic optional. Motor Trend saw 0-60 flash by in 5.1 seconds. The EPA rates the 3.0si at an amazing 20/30 mpg, while Motor Trend observed 24.1 mpg.
But sports cars exist for the twisties, and the Z4 loves them. The Z4's suspension is an evolution of the M3’s underpinnings, with strut-type front suspension and a mulilink setup in the rear. BMW engineers claim that the Z4 roadster is 100 percent more structurally rigid than its Z3 predecessor. Reviewers have noted an absence of the dreaded roadster “cowl shake.” Motor Trend measured 0.94 g on their skidpad, but they were not happy with the slight disconnect between road and driver they felt. They suspect that was due to the Z4's new electronically assisted steering, which they claim doesn’t subjectively equal the old-fashioned hydraulic type. Other reviewers found that the Z4’s array of Dynamic Stability and Dynamic Traction Control systems in combination with its 50/50 front/rear weight distribution allowed them to dial in the perfect combination of control for “spirited” driving.
Getting into this low-slung roadster's cockpit is not for awkward people, but once inside BMW “solidity and style” surround you. The style, however, is that of a dedicated sports car, not a luxury grand touring machine. The dash layout is simple, and all the controls are at your fingertips. Wood and real brushed aluminum are also there, but the focus is on the road. A tilt and telescoping steering wheel is standard. The 6-way manually adjustable seats are contoured for spirited driving and can be upgraded to tighter-fitting M Sports seats. A manually operated convertible top with a heated rear glass window is standard, and an optional automatic top that takes 7 seconds to drop is available. Further, the convertible top retains a usable 8.5-cubic-foot trunk, as it becomes its own tonneau cover when down.
The Z4 earned four out of five stars in NHTSA frontal-impact crash tests. Every model is equipped with BMW’s standard array of safety features, including front airbags, active knee protection for driver and passenger, rollover protection with rollbars and a reinforced windshield frame, adaptive brake lights, and BMW’s full range of electronic brake system wizardry.
Original MSRP: $49,995
Adds to Roadster 3.0i:
No additional major features.
Price $49,995 MSRP
Body Style Coupe
Engine 3.2L 330 hp I6
Seating 2
Fuel Economy
14MPG city
22MPG highway
Drivetrain RWD

Price

MSRP$49,995
Invoice

Transmission

Drivetrain RWD
6-Speed Manual
Fuel Economy
14MPG city
22MPG highway

Safety

Driver AirbagStandard
Passenger AirbagStandard
Front Side AirbagsStandard
Rear Side Airbags--
Curtain Airbags--
ABS BrakesStandard

Amenities

Sunroof/Moonroof--
Air Conditioning--
Leather SeatsStandard
Power SeatsPassenger: Standard
Power WindowsStandard
Power Door LocksStandard
Navigation System--
StereoRadio, CD Player

Engine

3.2L 330 hp I6
Power 330 hp @ 7,900 RPM
Torque 262 lb-ft @ 4,900 RPM

Dimensions

Maximum Seating2 seats
Fuel Tank Volume14 gal
Front Legroom42 in
Back Legroom--
Wheelbase98.3 in
Length161.9 in
Width70.1 in
Height50.7 in

Cargo and Towing

Cargo Volume10.1 cu ft
As auto enthusiasts know, the “M” in BMW’s automobile nomenclature means “fast.” The 2006 Z4 M Coupe hikes the bar on a sports car that is considered a class leader. BMW engineers have... Read More
As auto enthusiasts know, the “M” in BMW’s automobile nomenclature means “fast.” The 2006 Z4 M Coupe hikes the bar on a sports car that is considered a class leader.
BMW engineers have transplanted the running gear and powertrain of the very competent M3 sedan to the Z4 sports car. Here’s how it works. The M3’s suspension components are tuned to the Z4 Coupe and Roadster. For example, the spring rates for the Coupe are higher and the damping more aggressive when compared to the Roadster’s settings. Both Z4 Ms use the M3’s front struts and rear multilink suspension, rear subframe, limited-slip differential (M Variable Differential Lock), rear anti-roll bar mounting points, wheel bearings, and front control arms, while the vented, cross-drilled rotors and single-piston calipers were brought over from the M3 Competition package.
Further, the short-throw, well-spaced six-speed manual gearbox also comes from the M3. Hydraulically assisted rack-and-pinion steering replaces the normal electric power unit of the Z4, which has led to some critical reviews regarding the Z4’s lack of subtle steering feedback. Add it all up, and the sum is greater than the parts, as the lighter Z4 M is a more willing and superior performer on the track.
BMW also did a heart transplant on the Z4 by tapping their M3 donor for its jewel of a motor. The award-winning S54 inline six uses a cast iron block so that its 100-plus hp per naturally aspirated liter can be safely contained within its 3.2 liters. The engine is crammed with BMW technology: six individual throttle bodies, DOHC, 24 valves actuated by the Double VANOS variable valve timing system, and an 11.5:1 compression ratio. All of this produces 330 hp at 7,900 rpm – just 100 rpm short of the 8,000 rpm redline and 3 hp less than in the M3 due to exhaust system constraints – with 262 lb-ft of torque at 4,900 rpm and 80% of that maximum torque available from 2,000 rpm. The EPA estimates 16/24 mpg, and Road and Track observed 19.9 mpg in its comparison test of an M Coupe against a Porsche Cayman S.
Cram all that power in a two-seater that’s 117 pounds lighter than the donor M3, and Car and Driver was able to rip a 4.6-second 0-60 blast in an M Roadster. However, running through the twisties, specifically those on the Nordschleife (the Northern Circuit of Germany’s Nurburgring), the M Coupe outran the M Roadster and the M3. Reviewers raved over the M’s handling. They found that the Z4 M has a hard edge to it. A Road and Track editor commented that it felt like “a German Viper” - more refined, “but still with that aggressive, powerful nature.” Reviewers seemed addicted to ripping off 8,000-rpm shifts and powering out of perfectly carved corners. Car and Driver recorded 0.90 g on their skidpad and compared the car to a cheetah. Continuing the characterization, they found that a car capable of “feline responses” is one that offers only a “modicum of compliance” in the daily drive – while not “a go-kart,” you will know “every expansion joint and concrete patch the tires encounter.” The Z4 M exhibits minimal understeer that can be easily corrected with the throttle.
The interior is elegant and business-like - that business being the road. The well-bolstered seats are M sport buckets - they hold you in place within perfect reach of everything necessary to work the car’s driving potential. The steering wheel telescopes and tilts to aid in achieving your perfect fit. Yet the combination of wood, leather, and brushed aluminum trim bits lets you know it’s a BMW cockpit.
Original MSRP: $51,995
Adds to Roadster 3.0i:
No additional major features.
Price $51,995 MSRP
Body Style Convertible
Engine 3.2L 330 hp I6
Seating 2
Fuel Economy
14MPG city
22MPG highway
Drivetrain RWD

Price

MSRP$51,995
Invoice

Transmission

Drivetrain RWD
6-Speed Manual
Fuel Economy
14MPG city
22MPG highway

Safety

Driver AirbagStandard
Passenger AirbagStandard
Front Side AirbagsStandard
Rear Side Airbags--
Curtain Airbags--
ABS BrakesStandard

Amenities

Sunroof/Moonroof--
Air Conditioning--
Leather SeatsStandard
Power SeatsPassenger: Standard
Power WindowsStandard
Power Door LocksStandard
Navigation System--
StereoRadio, CD Player

Engine

3.2L 330 hp I6
Power 330 hp @ 7,900 RPM
Torque 262 lb-ft @ 4,900 RPM

Dimensions

Maximum Seating2 seats
Fuel Tank Volume14 gal
Front Legroom42 in
Back Legroom--
Wheelbase98.3 in
Length161.9 in
Width70.1 in
Height51.3 in

Cargo and Towing

Cargo Volume8.5 cu ft
As auto enthusiasts know, the “M” in BMW’s automobile nomenclature means “fast.” The Z4 M Roadster hikes the bar on a sports car that is considered a class leader. BMW engineers have t... Read More
As auto enthusiasts know, the “M” in BMW’s automobile nomenclature means “fast.” The Z4 M Roadster hikes the bar on a sports car that is considered a class leader.
BMW engineers have transplanted the running gear and powertrain of the very competent M3 sedan to the Z4 sports car. Here’s how it works. The M3’s suspension components are tuned to the Z4 Coupe and Roadster. For example, the spring rates for the Coupe are higher and the damping more aggressive when compared to the Roadster’s settings. Both Z4 Ms use the M3’s front struts and rear multilink suspension, rear subframe, limited-slip differential (M Variable Differential Lock), rear anti-roll bar mounting points, wheel bearings, and front control arms, while the vented, cross-drilled rotors and single-piston calipers were brought over from the M3 Competition package.
Further, the short-throw, well-spaced six-speed manual gearbox also comes over from the M3. Hydraulically assisted rack-and-pinion steering replaces the normal electric power unit of the Z4s, which has led to some critical reviews regarding the Z4’s lack of subtle steering feedback. Add it all up, and the sum is greater than the parts, as the lighter Z4 M is a more willing and superior performer on the track.
BMW also did a heart transplant on the Z4 by again referring to their M3 donor for its jewel of a motor. The award-winning S54 inline six uses a cast iron block so that its 100-plus hp per naturally aspirated liter can be safely contained within its 3.2 liters. The engine is crammed with BMW technology: six individual throttle bodies, DOHC, 24 valves actuated by the Double VANOS variable valve timing system, and an 11.5:1 compression ratio. All this produces 330 hp at 7,900 rpm – just 100 rpm short of the engine's 8,000-rpm redline and 3 hp less than in the M3 due to exhaust system constraints – with 262 lb-ft of torque at 4,900 rpm and 80% of that maximum torque available from 2,000 rpm. The EPA estimates 16/24 mpg, and Road and Track observed 19.9 mpg in its comparison test of an M Coupe against a Porsche Cayman S.
Cram all that power in a two-seater that’s 117 pounds lighter than the donor M3, and Car and Driver was able to rip a 4.6-second 0-60 blast in an M Roadster. However, running through the twisties, specifically those on the Nordschleife (the Northern Circuit of Germany’s Nurburgring), the M Coupe outran the M Roadster and the M3. Reviewers raved over the M’s handling. They found that the Z4 M has a hard edge to it. A Road and Track editor commented that it felt like “a German Viper” - more refined, “but still with that aggressive, powerful nature.” Reviewers seemed addicted to ripping off 8,000-rpm shifts and powering out of perfectly carved corners. Car and Driver recorded 0.90 g on their skidpad and compared the car to a cheetah. Continuing the characterization, they found that a car capable of “feline responses” is one that offers only a “modicum of compliance” in the daily drive – while not “a go-kart,” you will know “every expansion joint and concrete patch the tires encounter.” The Z4 M exhibits minimal understeer that can be easily corrected with the throttle.
The interior is elegant and business-like - that business being the road. The well-bolstered seats are M sport buckets - they hold you in place and place you within perfect reach of everything necessary to work the car’s driving potential. The steering wheel telescopes and tilts to aid in achieving your perfect fit. Yet the combination of wood, leather, and brushed aluminum trim bits let you know it’s a BMW cockpit. The standard automatic convertible top takes 7 seconds to drop and is equipped with a heated rear glass window. The convertible top retains a usable 8.5-cubic-foot trunk, as it becomes its own tonneau cover when folded.