New 2009 2010 BMW Z4 - ZPOST
BMW Garage BMW Meets Register Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Go Back   New 2009 2010 BMW Z4 - ZPOST > BMW Z4 Forum (E89) > 2009-Current Z4 Forum (E89) General Discussion

Post Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
      06-21-2009, 02:16 PM   #1
Jason
Administrator
 
Jason's Avatar
 
Drives: E90 M3
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA

Posts: 16,386
iTrader: (0)

Smile Jeremy Clarkson reviews sDrive35i ... prefers over Boxster and SLK

Clarkson's review of Z4: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/dri...fset=24&page=3

Here's his review... as always, take what he says with a grain of salt as he makes his living on his reputation for overexaggeration and melodrama (albeit very entertainingly so).

Quote:
As we know, stag nights are terrible things that cause perfectly normal men to be sick and push root vegetables up one anotherís bottom. So imagine my delight when a friend announced recently that his stag do would be alcohol-free. ďYippee,Ē

I thought. ďI shall be able to come home with a full complement of pubic hair.Ē Then I discovered why there would be no drinking. Because it was a ďdriving dayĒ.

One of the other guests, a public-relations man of some repute, couldnít understand why I was so harrumphy. ďWell, dear boy. It would be a bit like inviting you to spend your day off pretending to like journalists. Youíd be a bit harrumphy too.Ē

Iíd heard all about these track days, of course, and none of what Iíd heard was very encouraging. Rubbish cars on their last legs. Lots of cones. Two hours of safety lectures. Four hours of hanging around. Ten minutes of driving. Undrinkable tea. Wilting biscuits. And a million rules about overtaking, none of which says: ďAnd if the bastard doesnít move over, ram him.Ē

Happily, however, we went to Jonathan Palmerís gaff on an old airbase near Bedford, which is about six days away from everywhere else in the British Isles. Jonathan seems to know that people donít like waiting four hours to drive a Maestro. Which is why, five seconds after arriving, I was behind the wheel of a Caterham.

And then, after 10 laps, we were whizzed in luggzury 4x4s to another track, where we did 10 laps in some Renault Clio touring cars, and then it was Porsche 911s and then it was a funny sort of miniature Le Mans racer. And then we were dipped into Nomex, asked to put on some driving slippers and slotted into the single-seaters.

The instructor asked if Iíd ever driven such a thing before. ďOf course I have,Ē I replied indignantly. ďI am a presenter on Top Gear and so I have driven everything.Ē But then I started to think. And realised that I hadnít. Thatís a bit like Jonathan Ross realising one day heís never seen Brief Encounter.

Obviously, it wasnít a Formula One car, but it wasnít a puny Formula Ford either. It had slick tyres, a 3-litre Jaguar V6, a power-to-weight ratio of 500bhp per ton, a top speed of 170 and easily enough room in the cockpit for anyone up to 6ft 3in. Iím taller than that but Iíve been cramped before in exotic cars so I wasnít even remotely worried about the drive that lay ahead. I should have been.

You hear motor sports commentators talking about the problems of cold tyres and you see all those mechanics draping the rubberwear with electric blankies to keep them warm and you think, ďOh donít be so silly. And stop weaving around like that. Cold tyres canít possibly make any difference.Ē

Thatís why I went barrelling into the first corner only to discover I had no grip at all. Iím not talking about the rear end being a bit skittish. Or the front washing out. Iím talking about the steering wheel being completely and utterly redundant. So into the grass I went.

Happily, because the track is in Bedford, you could spin for a thousand miles in any direction and not hit anything, so soon I was off again, imagining that Iíd made a mistake of some sort. But no.

I crawled round the second corner because everyone else was facing in the wrong direction and made it all the way to the third, where I braked carefully, came down the sequential box, turned in gingerly and ó whoa ó spun again.

I simply do not know how those F1 boys get round the first lap at all. And, whatís more, I donít really have much of a clue about how they do the second, either.

Because, having slithered and spun round the first lap, you slow right down because you simply donít trust the tyres to work. And that means they donít get hot.

Itís catch-22. Go fast enough to warm them up and you spin. Go slow and you have to play the snail until the chequered flag comes down. After several laps, however, of eyebrow-matting concentration, I hit a pigeon. Which was a bit uncomfortable. For it.

Stopping was no easier. Brake at what you think is the right place and you will stop dead about 400 yards before the corner. A car this light has no real mass and, consequently, stops with a panache no road car can match. So you start to get cocky, braking later and later until, eventually, you will lock the fronts. When this happens in a normal car on normal tyres, there is much wailing and screeching. But in the single-seater, on slicks, there is no noise at all. For a while, you sit there, thinking all is well. Then you notice the smoke, and then you realise that you are heading straight for the pit wall at about a million.

Over the years, I have driven many cars, some of them very fast. And in my mind this had prepared me for life in a proper racing car on proper racing tyres on a proper racing track. It hadnít, though. Itís like spending your life hiring out donkeys on a beach and then imagining you could win the Grand National.

And then thereís the question of g. F1 racing drivers talk about how they suffer from the effects of this, and I always feel compelled to drive to their houses and punch them in the face. Because the g they are talking about is lateral. And lateral g is for nancy boys.

In essence, the effects of g are felt in the form of blood moving around inside your body. In a fighter plane it moves up to your head in times of negative g ó which makes you feel light-headed and sick ó and down in times of positive g, which causes you to lose your peripheral vision and then die.

In a racing car it can move only laterally ó from side to side. So itís not all in your head or all in your feet. It just sloshes from shoulder to shoulder. Which is no big deal ... Iíve always thought.

You see, eventually I did start to push the single-seater, and it was a revelation. Because you can see the front tyres and because they have so much grip when they are warm, you can place the car precisely where you want it to be at speeds you would imagine were simply impossible. All these years, Iíve scoffed at racing drivers for dismissing all road cars as rubbish, but I began to see their point. I may have even whooped occasionally like an American. And then my neck started to hurt. And then the muscles in it turned to fat. And then, after a couple of laps, I couldnít hold my head up at all. When I got out of the car, it looked as though Iíd been hanged. Lateral g, then, is unpleasant.

Which brings me to the BMW Z4. To a racing driver, who is used to slick tyres and fish-sharp reflexes, itís wallowy and slithery and horrid. But to me itís brilliant. Mostly because you can drive for more than 10 minutes without your head coming off.

I also liked the styling, the ride ó provided you stay out of the sport settings ó the engineís urgency, the fluidity of the responses and the elegance of the interior. Though, that said, this is not a car you can drive in cuff links. Because the centre console is set up for left-hand drive, every time you change gear your silver dog turd, or whatever, will hit the iDrive knob, which in extreme circumstances can cause the cabin to be filled with rap noises.

However, Iíve thought quite hard about this and can confidently say that the Z4, with its folding metal roof and softer feel, is now the best of the medium-sized sports cars. Certainly, I prefer it to the Boxster and the Mercedes SLK.

However, if itís a real driving experience you want, forget the ultimate driving machine. Because, as I now realise, it isnít.

BMW Z4 sDrive35i

Engine 2979cc, six cylinders

Power 306bhp @ 5800rpm

Torrque 295 lb ft @ 1300rpm

Transmission Six-speed manual

Fuel 30.1mpg (combined cycle)

CO2 219g/km

Acceleration 0-62mph: 5.2sec

Top speed 155mph

Price £37,065

Road tax band K (£215 a year)

The Clarksometer



The ultimate driving machine, or so I thought
Jason is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      06-21-2009, 03:40 PM   #2
Z4 Beemer
Colonel
 
Z4 Beemer's Avatar
 
Drives: 2009 Z4 sDrive 23i
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Glasgow, Scotland, UK

Posts: 2,353
iTrader: (0)

Garage List
2006 E92  [0.00]
2004 Z4 2.2i  [0.00]
Send a message via MSN to Z4 Beemer
4 out of 5 isn't bad for JC !

He used to have an SLK 55 AMG, so glad to hear that he prefers it to the Boxster and SLK.
__________________
E89 Z4 sDrive 23i... for the more discerning driver
Z4 Beemer is offline   Scotland
0
Reply With Quote
      06-21-2009, 03:58 PM   #3
the infamous...
Relapsed Bimmerpost Addict
 
the infamous...'s Avatar
 
Drives: like I'M BOUT THAT LIFE
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: PARADISE aka CANES COUNTRY

Posts: 17,538
iTrader: (0)

BMW is on point with almost everything!!
the infamous... is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      06-21-2009, 04:45 PM   #4
Berduderunner
drk one
 
Berduderunner's Avatar
 
Drives: 2008 135i
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Tampa/Orlando

Posts: 792
iTrader: (0)

Garage List
2008 e90 335i  [0.00]
2008 135i  [0.00]
Send a message via AIM to Berduderunner
impressive!

But he didnt mention much of the N54... :-(
__________________
Jet Black | Coral | HighGlossBlack | Steptronic | Premium | Sport | Comfort | ActiveSteering | Navi | HiFi | HD | iPod | SAT
BMS JB3 v2.0 | BMS DCI | Berk Tech Sport Exhaust | UR * DPs | CoolingMist Meth Kit w/ CMGS | H&R OE Sport Springs | Breyton GTS-R | Dunlop Direzza Sport Z1 Star Specs | GP Thunder 8000K Low Beams/Angel Eyes/Cornering Lights | LED Interior Light Kit | Window Tint | Smoked Tail Lights | Smoked License Plate Cover
Berduderunner is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      06-21-2009, 07:18 PM   #5
numba1guju
Batman
 
numba1guju's Avatar
 
Drives: bicycle
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: undisclosed

Posts: 478
iTrader: (0)

whens topgear start again?...i rather watch it than just read it
numba1guju is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      06-21-2009, 07:42 PM   #6
Robert
Major General
 
Drives: 135i, current is350
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Socal

Posts: 6,893
iTrader: (1)

Quote:
Originally Posted by numba1guju View Post
whens topgear start again?...i rather watch it than just read it
Should start today
Robert is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      06-21-2009, 07:50 PM   #7
ptack
Brigadier General
 
ptack's Avatar
 
Drives: 135i
Join Date: May 2008
Location: NJ

Posts: 4,222
iTrader: (0)

Garage List
2008 135i  [3.00]
He also raved over the 135i. He must be getting smarter.
__________________
135i, SGM, Coral, Sport Package, Auto, Premium Hifi, USB/ipod, Apex EC-7s, PPK Stage II
ptack is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      06-22-2009, 02:05 AM   #8
Alext
Colonel
 
Drives: B M W
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Everest

Posts: 2,003
iTrader: (2)

He is basically saying that as a true sports car it is crap. It is a great 'GT' though.
Alext is offline   No_Country
0
Reply With Quote
      06-22-2009, 07:15 AM   #9
juhap
Lieutenant
 
juhap's Avatar
 
Drives: sDrive35i
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Finland

Posts: 530
iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by PM3 View Post
Thats the point...lets no forget he hates the boxter, or has he calls it the cockster...and to be honest to say its better that the now 5 or 6 yearold slk thats not really such a great thing...as he said, it is not the ultimate driving machine...and hes probably right
I think what he's saying is compared to single-seater racing cars the BMWs are not the ultimate driving machines.

"All these years, Iíve scoffed at racing drivers for dismissing all road cars as rubbish, but I began to see their point."
juhap is offline   Finland
0
Reply With Quote
      06-22-2009, 10:29 AM   #10
Raja Ventureshield
Major General
 
Raja Ventureshield's Avatar
 
Drives: BMW M3 coupe
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Northern VA

Posts: 5,648
iTrader: (6)

he particularly doesn't like the porsches.
Raja Ventureshield is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      06-22-2009, 10:55 AM   #11
amgthis
Tire Racks
 
amgthis's Avatar
 
Drives: AW 1M CoupŤ
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: San Francisco, CA

Posts: 1,228
iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raja Ventureshield View Post
he particularly doesn't like the porsches.
Probably because he crashed a 997 GT3 on supercar showdown.
__________________
Alpine White 1M CoupŤ
Gone:2006 Alpine White E46 M3 ZCP RIP
amgthis is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      06-22-2009, 12:23 PM   #12
AndyE1976
Brit in GA
 
Drives: Saab 9-3SE Cab
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Atlanta

Posts: 145
iTrader: (0)

Not much of a review really, he barely mentions the Z4 at all.

However anyone who's ever driven on a track will be able to tell you that even in a road car you'll go a lot faster and push a lot harder than you would driving 'fast' on the road. So for real world driving the Z4 is great, for track days get a lotus or a porsche.
AndyE1976 is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      06-22-2009, 12:47 PM   #13
meharris
New Member
 
Drives: -97 BMW 318i (RIP)
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: MD

Posts: 21
iTrader: (0)

"I think what he's saying is compared to single-seater racing cars the BMWs are not the ultimate driving machines."

That is exactly what he's saying.
meharris is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      06-23-2009, 10:57 AM   #14
Raja Ventureshield
Major General
 
Raja Ventureshield's Avatar
 
Drives: BMW M3 coupe
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Northern VA

Posts: 5,648
iTrader: (6)

Quote:
Originally Posted by PM3 View Post
Just saw ukīs 5th gear review of the Z4 against the boxter...i tell you i didnt go well for our beloved bimmer.

And keep in mind the review was made by proper drivers not a posh middle age wanker from the uk.
It was bad my friends...it finished with them moking the "The ultimate driving machine" slogan...AND keep in mind that fifth gear as ALWAys been very very generous with bmw, rarely giving second place to a bimmer on a one to one.
One of the presenters almost said he prefered the old Zed to this one.

"the boxter is just superior"

And dont understand whats going on at bmw...

i tell you..bmw as we know it, dare i say it, is dead. They are slowly turning into merc...even the marketing guys are gently starting to change The ultimate...
Cant wait to get my E46 csl..one of the last reminders of what bmw stands for... check 5th gear review of the csl and compare it to this one. Youīll catch my drift (no pun inteded)
Raja Ventureshield is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      06-23-2009, 12:54 PM   #15
Nebraska99
Enlisted Member
 
Drives: CLK 500, RX350
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Belleville, IL

Posts: 45
iTrader: (0)

Quote:
As we know, stag nights are terrible things that cause perfectly normal men to be sick and push root vegetables up one anotherís bottom

Remind me not to go to an English bachelor party.
Nebraska99 is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      06-23-2009, 01:09 PM   #16
juhap
Lieutenant
 
juhap's Avatar
 
Drives: sDrive35i
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Finland

Posts: 530
iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by PM3 View Post
One of the presenters almost said he prefered the old Zed to this one.

"the boxter is just superior"
Nothing new here really. Or did someone still think the Boxster wouldn't wipe the floor with the new Z4 on the track.

5th Gear loved the old Z4, so saying they only almost prefer the old one is a compliment
juhap is offline   Finland
0
Reply With Quote
      06-23-2009, 06:34 PM   #17
Alext
Colonel
 
Drives: B M W
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Everest

Posts: 2,003
iTrader: (2)

At least the Z4 looks a hell of a lot better than the ageing boxster. In fact Porsche really need to review the dull look of their cars sometime soon.
Alext is offline   No_Country
0
Reply With Quote
      06-25-2009, 08:07 AM   #18
zuggerat89
Still waiting...
 
zuggerat89's Avatar
 
Drives: OGV
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Monmouth County, NJ

Posts: 887
iTrader: (0)

7/8ths of that article is complete garbage... he spent all of two seconds on the Z4
zuggerat89 is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
Post Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:04 PM.




zpost
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
1Addicts.com, BIMMERPOST.com, E90Post.com, F30Post.com, M3Post.com, ZPost.com, 5Post.com, 6Post.com, 7Post.com, XBimmers.com logo and trademark are properties of BIMMERPOST