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BMW Z4 3.0si

Z4 gets a mid-life lift, and a cracking new straight-six

Evo rating
Price
from £34,195
  • £8K less than an M Roadster
  • People will assume you’re a poser

What with Coupes and M variants, we’ve overlooked the fact that the standard Z4 has been revamped and given a new engine recently. The absolutely fantastic 3-litre straight-six (already seen in the 130i and the 330i) has been slotted into the Z4’s protuberant nose and the delectably smooth engine sounds and pulls better than ever. Once it’s warmed up, the gearbox is great too. A little ‘+’ symbol has been added to the DSC, which means you now get Hill Start Assistant (useful for driving tests), Brake Drying, Soft Stop (releases brake pressure slightly as you reach standstill), Fade Compensation and Brake Pre-tensioning (primes the brakes if you snap off the accelerator). The new-look brake lights also come on in stages depending how hard you brake. Two buttons to press when you drive it: the tiny one labelled DTC (press once to slacken the reins, hold it down for five seconds to release them completely) because DSC is oversensitive when left on; and the chubbier ‘Sport’ button because in normal mode the steering’s electrical assistance is too light, particularly either side of the dead-ahead. The sports suspension and 18in wheels fitted to this car are of questionable benefit, giving a little more shake over imperfections than is healthy, but overall the wonderful engine means the Z4 3.0si is a car that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Specifications

EngineIn-line 6-cyl, 2996cc
Max power265bhp @ 6600rpm
Max torque232lb ft @ 2750rpm
0-605.7sec (claimed)
Top speed155mph (limited)
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