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      08-19-2011, 01:37 PM   #1
Jason
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Arrow 2012 Z4 sDrive28i with N20 Review by Autoblog

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2012 Z4 sDrive28i with N20 Review by Autoblog
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Autoblog comes in with their first drive reaction to the 2012 Z4 sDrive28i, the first late model BMW to bring the 4-cylinder motor back to the US market. The N20 motor makes 240 hp / 260 lb-ft tq in the Z4, with a 7,000 rpm redline. Compared to the N52 inline 6 that it replaces, the Z4's N20 has 15 less horsepowers but 40lb-ft more torque.

The N20 will also be making its debut in the 5-series line in the Fall with the 2012 528i, and in the 3-series with the all new F30 3-series sedan which will be unveiled this Fall.

So what does Autoblog think of the Z4 sDrive28i and the N20?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Autoblog

The mounting points used to fit the outgoing six-cylinder and the current turbocharged 3.0-liter are the same that hold this TwinPower turbo four in place. The byproduct is an impressive weight balance of 47.3/52.7 front-to-rear, an improvement – depending on your perspective – from the 47.9/52.1 of the six-cylinder model.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Autoblog

There's a hint of turbo lag below 2,000 rpm when you're lining up for a pass, but as soon as the single, twin-scroll turbo starts huffing and puffing, the Z4 accelerates more authoritatively than the six. Driving the old and new models back-to-back, we also noticed slightly less dive and squat from the mildly reworked suspension (BMW isn't saying what's been done, aside from tweaking the springs and shocks for the new weight balance), but that's probably more a product of the box-fresh four-cylinder compared to the slightly abused previous generation tester.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Autoblog

BMW isn't giving up fuel economy estimates just yet. With the (surprisingly abrupt) start-stop system fitted to the Z4 sDrive28i, BMW claims that fuel efficiency is up by 20 percent over the six-cylinder in the EU test cycle, but that could go either up or down when the EPA estimates arrive later this year. Figuring the outgoing model managed 18/28 mpg city/highway, it's safe to assume the four-cylinder should ring in around 22 mpg in the city and 33 on the highway.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Autoblog

More importantly, the character of the Z4 is completely unaffected by the new engine. The six's sonorous tones have been replaced with a hint of turbo whistle and a thrum from the exhaust, but the overall experience remains surprisingly unchanged. Grunt is up, fuel consumption is down and top-down cruising is just as good as it ever was. The replacement for displacement is here, and if it's executed this well, we'll gladly give up a liter or two for the privilege.


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VITALS:

Engine: 2.0L I4
Power: 240 HP / 260 LB-FT
Transmission: 6-Speed Manual
0-60 Time: 5.5 Seconds
Drivetrain: Rear-Wheel Drive
Curb Weight: 3,252 LBS
Seating: 2
MPG: NA
MSRP: $48,650

Full review and photo set at Autoblog.


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      08-19-2011, 06:01 PM   #2
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      08-19-2011, 09:10 PM   #3
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Z4 one of my favorites.
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      08-19-2011, 09:43 PM   #4
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seats are mixture of leather or leatherette with alcantra.
But, it is nice to see that this N20 engine performing as it should
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      08-19-2011, 10:33 PM   #5
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The question is: Will there be many American willing to buy a 4 cyl. BMW for $50k? I predict that many of these 4 Cyl models will just be sitting in the showroom across the US. I hope I am wrong. But, I have a feeling I am not.
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      08-19-2011, 10:46 PM   #6
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I would not say a car is unaffected by going from a 6 to a turbo 4, but one could say it was improved or had a change of personality, or something.
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      08-20-2011, 12:00 AM   #7
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The N20 seems to be not so terrible! I had the N52 in my last 328 and it was a great, but not unreplaceable, engine. The fact that the new engine is more powerful, more efficient, and not to mention tunable (whereas the N52 simply wasn't).. Seems like a win/win/win.

My other takeaway is that damn, Z4s are pricey. 48k for a base model?
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      08-20-2011, 05:34 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IancoleTX View Post
The N20 seems to be not so terrible! I had the N52 in my last 328 and it was a great, but not unreplaceable, engine. The fact that the new engine is more powerful, more efficient, and not to mention tunable (whereas the N52 simply wasn't).. Seems like a win/win/win.

My other takeaway is that damn, Z4s are pricey. 48k for a base model?

But no finesse.
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      08-20-2011, 09:12 AM   #9
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IMO, N20 328's and X3's will fly off the lot. In the Z4 and 5 series the story will be different. The 328i and X3 are BMW's at an affordable entry point. In the more expensive Z4 and 5 series the 4 cylinder stigma will turn buyers away. Some may opt for the more expensive 6 cylinder turbo.
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      08-20-2011, 10:05 AM   #10
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Quote:
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IMO, N20 328's and X3's will fly off the lot. In the Z4 and 5 series the story will be different. The 328i and X3 are BMW's at an affordable entry point. In the more expensive Z4 and 5 series the 4 cylinder stigma will turn buyers away. Some may opt for the more expensive 6 cylinder turbo.
You sure the 4-cylinder will turn buyers away? Even here in the affluent northeast, 6-cylinder 740i's are rampant and if any BMW buyers would be engine-conscious, I suspect it would be people spending $70,000+ since the competition all offer V8s as standard equipment.
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      08-20-2011, 12:12 PM   #11
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they flashed you back to stock.. get your ecu tuned again. also do a recode
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      08-20-2011, 04:44 PM   #12
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Will they be replacing the Z4 sDrive23i with this model as well? Or are they keeping the 2.5l 6 cyc?
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      08-21-2011, 08:18 AM   #13
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That's some cool news....although I love big engines more than anything but it can be less-tax esp where I live!
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      08-21-2011, 04:33 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IancoleTX View Post
The N20 seems to be not so terrible! I had the N52 in my last 328 and it was a great, but not unreplaceable, engine. The fact that the new engine is more powerful, more efficient, and not to mention tunable (whereas the N52 simply wasn't).. Seems like a win/win/win.

My other takeaway is that damn, Z4s are pricey. 48k for a base model?
Perhaps, and I hope you are right. IMHO, turbos suck (gas) if you try to get any performance out of them. No doubt, BMW will be able to get a nice bump on their EPA numbers because they can drive on the "back side" of the throttle, but I feel strongly that when the "real world" numbers come in, the turbo 4 will not be that much better than the N52. A little, sure, but a lot, I doubt it. A bigger issue will be whether or not BMW is able to get notable weight out of the new F30. The four should help, but they need more than that, and since it seems they are once again growing the new model, any mpg gains by the new turbo four could be reduced by increasing tonnage.
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      08-21-2011, 07:24 PM   #15
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The car n pics are so money!
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      08-22-2011, 01:09 AM   #16
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on a side note, this car is so much better looking than the new SLK that's not even funny. lol.
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      08-22-2011, 03:23 AM   #17
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i think the amg styled slk looks so much better. i like this one too though
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