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      09-02-2011, 11:50 AM   #1
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Cool Another Z4 35iS European Delivery Photo Journal

Just got back from my week long vacation in Europe to pick up my new 2011 Z4 sdrive35is and figured I'd post some of the pictures I took while I was out there. Overall, the experience is absolutely unforgettable and in my opinion, the best way to take delivery of a new car. BMW truly takes care of their customers and the delivery experience is top notch. I also believe that driving your own car in Europe is a must for any car enthusiast for countless reasons, including but not limited to the ability to avoid more touristy areas, dictating your own travel schedule, driving some of the world's best roads, etc.

The car I ordered was equipped as follows:

2011 Z4 sdrive35is
Deep Sea Blue Metallic
Ivory White Nappa interior
Heated Seats
Through Loading System

That's it and that's all - no frills just the bare minimum necessities.

My journey began in Los Angeles, where I flew Continental to Newark for a layover to meet up with the girlfriend. We did a two day stopover in Amsterdam to see the sights and sounds before flying into Munich, where this story will begin.

Day 1 - Germany to Austria - Delivery Day | Salzburg | Grossglockner | Heiligenblut

We stayed at the Holiday Inn in Schwabing, about 2 km away from the BMW Welt the night before delivery day. Arrived at the hotel around midnight, and managed to get some sleep before waking up around 7am. Hotel was nothing spectacular, I found the reception rather rude, and hotel somewhat rundown for a Holiday Inn. No worries, the hotel was fine for sleeping and close to both a Ubahn stop and the Welt. The morning of delivery, we hopped in a taxi and arrived at the Welt.

Entrance











"stairway to heaven" or rather, stairway down to heaven as you descend the steps to take delivery




delivery!



Drove directly to Salzburg, Austria afterwards and saw the Mirabell Gardens, where a bit of the Sound of Music was filmed. The steps are where the children are hopping up and down in the "Do Re Mi" bit


"I am 16" gazebo...


Grossglockner


Spent the night in Heiligenblut at the Landhotel Post. Opted for the mountain view room and thoroughly glad I did - the view was absolutely beautiful. The Austrian Alps were definitely the most beautiful mountains we drove through during the trip, and the air was unbelievably fresh.







Balcony view left


Balcony view right


town church



Day 2 - Austria to Italy - Dolomites | Colle Santa Lucia| Bolzano


Day 2 took us from the lush Austrian Alps to the jagged Dolomites and into Bolzano, Italy.





Top of Colle Santa Lucia


spot the z4...


Bolzano's Old Town





Spent the night at the Four Points Sheraton in Bolzano - it was nice to switch back to a western hotel with all the creature comforts we're accustomed to. Didn't hurt that they upgraded us to the executive suite



hotel pool


pool balcony looking at the Tyrolean mountains



Day 3 - Italy - Verona | Bellagio - Lake Como

We spent the better part of the day touring Verona by foot as the main city center is pedestrian only, with the exception of hotel guests arriving by car and residents. Verona's main tourist claim to fame is the bogus Juliet's balcony, from which Juliet supposedly uttered the famous line "Romeo oh Romeo" and so on and so forth. It was also featured in the recent movie Letters to Juliet, for which I've had the unfortunate pleasure of watching during a flight a few months ago (forgot to bring my own movie to watch, honest). We spent the night in Bellagio at the Hotel Il Perlo Panorama, which true to its name, had a panoramic view of Lake Como. Our view from our balcony was perhaps the most beautiful view I've seen in my life. During the day, the lake wrapped completely around the peninsula for a panoramic view along with the Alps in the background. At night, the small towns around the lake would glow, while the stars shined above. In the distance we could see lightning in the Alps. Bellagio itself was nothing really to write home about, but the view more than made up for any of its shortcomings.

Arena di Verona (Roman Colisseum still used for operas today)




Madonna of Verona in Piazza Delle Erbe




"Casa di Giulietta"


"Juliet's" balcony for which you can pay 5 euro stand in


me graffiti-ing the walls (along with everyone else)


Bellagio - hotel room balcony and view


our room - top floor corner. truly panoramic








stairway to the restaurant in Bellagio


circumcising the z4's antenna...

before:


after:



Day 4 - Italy to Switzerland - Andermatt | Furka Pass | Interlaken | Lucerne

We started the day by taking a car ferry from Bellagio towards Lugano, then onwards through Switzerland to our final destination, Lucerne. The drive took us through the Furka Pass, which was an absolute joy to drive. We spent the night at the newly opened Renaissance in Lucerne - unfortunately no pics of the hotel/room.

awaiting the ferry


on the way to Andermatt


Swiss Alps


Interlaken





Day 5 - Switzerland to Austria - Nauders | Lago di Resia| Innsbruck

We drove from Lucerne to Innsbruck, making two stops along the way in Nauders and Lago di Resia. Drove through the Fluela Pass around Davos, but unfortunately it was raining a storm so the drive wasn't that fun. Also Ultimatedrives.net noted that the pass from Martina to Nauders (border of Switzerland/Austria) is a great driving road - I would wholeheartedly agree. The pass itself is a bit short, but fun to drive. In Nauders, there's an old fort that is strategically built into a crevice of the surrounding mountain rock. We then drove a short distance to Lago di Resia, which is a man made lake that ended up flooding several small villages. The old town church tower remains above water, making a it a fascinating sight. We spent the night in Innsbruck, staying at the Hotel Weisses Kreuz right in the heart of the town. The night was spent with me on the phone trying to rework our flights to hopefully avoid Hurricane Irene.

Nauders






Lago di Resia






Innsbruck


Hotel to the right


the "Mozart" appetizer at dinner - collection of Austrian "delicacies"



Day 6 - Austria to Germany - Munich | Dropoff

Day 6 was supposed to be spent in Fussen looking at the Neuschwanstein castle and in Munich drinking beer at the Hofbrauhaus. Instead, I made the decision to catch a 9am flight first to Newark (to drop off the girlfriend) and then eventually home to Los Angeles. Hurricane Irene was projected to hit the NYC area early Sunday morning, and the hope was that by moving our flight up a day, we would arrive in Newark early Saturday afternoon, well ahead of the storm. So, we woke up at 4am, and I drove in the rain to Munich airport where we dropped off the z4 and said our temporary goodbyes. When we arrived at the check in counter, we were informed that all flights to New York were cancelled. I ended up getting us on a flight direct to LA instead, which left at 3:45 in the afternoon. This gave us some time to see Munich as we had not yet had the time to do so. I had booked and prepaid for a room at the Marriott Munich, so we decided to check in early and grab some breakfast and take a cat nap. We re-took possession of the z4 and proceeded to drive to the Marriott. The timeline of our stay at the Marriott is as follows:

1. Arrive at 9:15 am and checked in
2. My status got us free breakfast, even though we were technically not supposed to eat breakfast until the morning after.
3. I napped for an hour from 10:00 am to 11:00 am while the girlfriend was on hold with Continental trying to figure out the flights
4. Checked out at 11:15am. Total time in hotel = 2 hours.

We got to see the Marienplatz and caught the midday noon bell chiming. Then headed back to the airport and dropped the car off for reals this time.

Outside the Marriott


Max-Joseph-Platz


Marienplatz




Dropoff - parked next to an Alpina B7



Trip and Car Impressions

I highly recommend that everyone try European Delivery at some point in their lives - it truly is an amazing experience. Driving in Europe can be challenging at times, but if you plan out your trip well in advance and have a navigation system with European maps, you'll be fine. Bimmerfest's forum was a great help in planning our itinerary and I spent countless hours figuring out our route, destinations, and driving roads. The daily change in scenery is always a breath of fresh air and the ability to vary our itinerary to our liking was great. Some days we got to see more touristy sights, other days we went along the backroads and saw amazing scenery. Every day we drove through different mountain ranges and different mountain passes.

The z4 sdrive35is is a great car to drive through Europe, with the only hindrance being the trunk size. We were able to pack 1 carry on suitcase each, a backpack for myself, and a large purse for the girlfriend. For our 9 day trip in Europe, this meant I could only bring 2 pants and 1 pair of shorts. I checked the weather before we left, and the forecast was generally low 80s high 70s. The weather was more like high 80s low to mid 90s, meaning I rewore my same pair of shorts almost daily.

We received numerous looks almost everywhere we went while driving the car, although I suspect it may be due to my heritage more than the car myself. I won't say any more than that.

As for the car's performance, a bit of my background to put things into perspective. I've owned my current e36 M3 sedan (manual) for the past 5 years, and ride my Suzuki SV650S daily to work. Before the e36 m3, I had an e36 325i for 4 years so I'm quite familiar with that chassis. The e89 has gobs more power, is far more comfortable, and is great for cruising on the autobahn/autostrada at 100mph+ all day, while also great for the various mountain passes we drove. During the day, my girlfriend and I would alternate driving. The car was so comfortable that it was inevitable that whoever was not driving would fall asleep in the passenger seat. My girlfriend slept the entire drive through the Furka pass, even with me throwing the car around the corners. I slept for a good 45 minutes while my girlfriend was driving 110+ on the autostrada.

Unfortunately, the steering feel is pathetic and the car gets floaty at high speeds while in the "Normal" suspension mode. Sport+ helps dramatically, but the steering still feels artificial and disconnected. The car's width is difficult to ascertain when driving at first, and takes awhile to get used to. The DCT transmission is fun to drive and when in manual mode, the shifting is lighting quick and responsive. Driving through the mountain passes, the DCT allows you to focus more on your line and throttle/brake control, while the DCT takes care of the downshifting and rev matching for you. The sound of the exhaust on the 35is is great at startup, idle, and during acceleration (basically always sounds great). When shifting quickly in manual mode, the exhaust makes a nice burble/blarp akin to F1 cars that I get a kick out of every time. The acceleration of the car is a real rush - compared to my e36 M3, there's no comparison. Compared to my bike (albeit one of the slower bikes) , I would say the top end of the z4 is faster.

We opted for the ivory white nappy leather interior which I personally think is an absolute must. The stitching, leather and suede accents, and soft nappa leather is world class. The anthracite wood is rich and luxurious and adds a nice touch.

The great part about this story is that this is only the beginning - the countdown has already begun for re-delivery in Los Angeles and the coming years to enjoy the car.
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      09-02-2011, 11:59 AM   #2
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great photos and write-up. we too did ED with our Z4 and long to do it again now that it has been two years. the best trip of our lives. thanks for sharing.
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      09-02-2011, 02:33 PM   #3
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nice pics!



great verona! I was last year
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      09-02-2011, 03:32 PM   #4
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congrats and what an experiences!
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      09-02-2011, 04:38 PM   #5
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Thanks for sharing! ED is definitely an experience!

I completely agree with you regarding the steering. However. I think something is acting up with my car. I brought it in today related to a steering issue and they believe something is wrong with the steering module. Who knows. Do you get the infamous "dead spot" or "hitch" when steering that other "is" owners have experienced?
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      09-05-2011, 08:44 PM   #6
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looks like we have something in common: E36s love. I used to own 325is (93) and M3 (95). Loved them both.
You are right, ED is a must; at least once in a lifetime
Congrats.
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      09-05-2011, 09:41 PM   #7
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Stunning photos, I am sure the experience is thrilling... Thanks for sharing!
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      09-06-2011, 01:03 AM   #8
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Very cool!
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      09-06-2011, 01:37 AM   #9
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Why were they worried about your heritage? There are other people like you in Austria!!
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      09-06-2011, 01:41 AM   #10
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Awesome write up and cool car. Great color choices too!

I too drove through Andermatt and the Furkapass! I hope you had a chance to stop in Andermatt. It's a cool little ski town (I'd love to see it in the winter personally.). Was there still snow up top? I couldn't resist sticking my hands in it and grabbing a pic when I drove by (I don't see snow in May at all lol.). Wish we had a road like that over here it was epic.

Now comes the hardest part...

waiting for it to get back!

Cheers
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      09-06-2011, 01:46 AM   #11
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so cool man. congrats!

we're leaving next Monday for ED. same car. can't wait!

packing will be a bit challenging, since we'll be there for 14 days.
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      09-06-2011, 01:57 AM   #12
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Congrats! Thx for sharing your great experience!
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      09-06-2011, 04:14 AM   #13
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Congrats! Nice car and nice trip!
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      09-06-2011, 04:36 AM   #14
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Great pics and write-up.
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      09-06-2011, 07:22 AM   #15
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Drop top and a cute GF, life is good.
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      09-06-2011, 10:44 AM   #16
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even though my m car experience is limited im sure that if you've owned one and you switch to anything else you wont like the steering. Looks like you had a great time and thanks for sharing
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      09-06-2011, 11:58 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kief View Post
Thanks for sharing! ED is definitely an experience!

I completely agree with you regarding the steering. However. I think something is acting up with my car. I brought it in today related to a steering issue and they believe something is wrong with the steering module. Who knows. Do you get the infamous "dead spot" or "hitch" when steering that other "is" owners have experienced?
Did not get a "hitch" or anything in the steering. Nothing out of the ordinary except for lack of feel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eatrach73 View Post
looks like we have something in common: E36s love. I used to own 325is (93) and M3 (95). Loved them both.
You are right, ED is a must; at least once in a lifetime
Congrats.
E36 love! The e36 still brings a smile to my face whenever I see it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by phish_100 View Post
Why were they worried about your heritage? There are other people like you in Austria!!
No one was really "worried" per se, more that I felt we were treated in a different manner.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sq86 View Post
Awesome write up and cool car. Great color choices too!

I too drove through Andermatt and the Furkapass! I hope you had a chance to stop in Andermatt. It's a cool little ski town (I'd love to see it in the winter personally.). Was there still snow up top? I couldn't resist sticking my hands in it and grabbing a pic when I drove by (I don't see snow in May at all lol.). Wish we had a road like that over here it was epic.

Now comes the hardest part...

waiting for it to get back!

Cheers
We stopped in Andermatt for a late lunch - cute town with nice people. Didn't see much snow in the mountains however.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2045 View Post
so cool man. congrats!

we're leaving next Monday for ED. same car. can't wait!

packing will be a bit challenging, since we'll be there for 14 days.
Best of luck with your packing....

If you plan on driving to a destination and stopping for a few days, it shouldnt be a problem to pack more bags if you plan to drive with the top up on the way to your destination. Then you can unload your bags and drop the top once you arrive. Since we were always on the move, our luggage was always in the trunk. I found that using a duffle bag to store items (namely dirty clothes) was helpful as the bag can conform to the crevices created by our suitcases.

If you don't push your chair all the way back, you can also fit a couple of backpacks/smaller bags behind the chairs on the shelf and on the ground.

Hope you have a good trip! The wait and planning is a killer...but more than worth it.
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      09-06-2011, 10:50 PM   #18
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Nice wright up and great shots. The flooded church tower is kind of eerie.
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      09-07-2011, 01:58 AM   #19
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Awesome trip and great writeup!
Glad you enjoyed our end of the world.

I also was bummed about the artificial steering feel on my Z4. Regarding the floaty suspension, tinkering with tire pressure helped a lot here!
Try raising the cold tire pressure in front about 3 PSI and lower the pressure about 3 PSI in the rear compared to the recommended normal load pressures.
I'm running the 19" Bridgestone RFTs.
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      09-07-2011, 11:47 AM   #20
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Wow, looks like an amazing trip! Enjoy ur new Z.
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      09-07-2011, 12:31 PM   #21
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awesome pics, nice picture spots!
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      09-07-2011, 06:14 PM   #22
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great trip and I like the color! congrats on your new Z4
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