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2008 BMW Z4 M

Overview
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2008 BMW Z4 M Review

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Since the late 1970s BMW's renowned Motorsport GmbH division has been turning out ultra-performance "M" cars. While the best-known of these remains the M3 and M5 Sedans, the U.S-built Z4 roadster has spawned a pair of equally scintillating offspring: The M Coupe and M Roadster. With notable upgrades to their powertrains, performance, appearance and attitude, these two-seaters are fully capable of putting their performance levels and images up to such competitors as the Porsche Boxster S and Cayman S, Chevrolet Corvette, Honda S2000, Lotus Elise and Exige, Mercedes-Benz SLK55 AMG and Nissan 350Z in its Grand Touring iteration.

You'll Like This Car If...

Both the Coupe and Roadster versions of this high-styled high-performance machine have the potential to fulfill the driving demands of even the hard-core enthusiast -- and to do to do so at a remarkably competitive pricepoint.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The 2008 BMW Z4 M Coupe and Roadster are most definitely not for the uncommitted. Neither offers an automatic transmission, and the extremely responsive handing exacts a tangible cost in ride comfort that can make their Porsche Boxster S and Cayman S counterparts feel almost cushy by comparison.

What's New for 2008

No major changes for 2008.

Driving the Z4 M

Driving Impressions Expanding the Z4's already formidable dynamic envelope, the 2008 M versions complement their larger 3.2-liter 330-horsepower engines and sweet-shifting six-speed gearboxes with stiffer suspension, wider track dimensions, bigger wheels and...

tires, more direct power steering and a variable-locking differential from the M3. The result is remarkably quick acceleration and extremely crisp responses, all supervised by a fairly non-intrusive Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) setup. Huge cross-drilled and ventilated anti-lock disc brakes (ABS) deliver plenty of confident stopping power. The trade-off for this handling capability is ride comfort, which is notably impacted by rough or uneven road surfaces.

Precise Steering Feel
Borrowed from the M3, the beautifully communicative and well-weighted rack-and-pinion power steering gear in the M Coupe and Roadster relies on straight hydraulic boost in place of the more technically complex but far less driver-connected assist systems that BMW uses in most of its other offerings.

3.2-Liter M-Spec Engine
BMW has a worldwide reputation for its superb in-line six-cylinder engines, and this M-massaged 3.2-liter stands as one its finest efforts. Redlined at a lofty 8,000 rpm, it makes an exhilarating 330 horsepower -- 75 more than the Z4 3.0i's 3.0-liter six -- and endows both the M Coupe and M Roadster with outstanding quickness and responsiveness.

2008 BMW Z4 M Details
Interior

Compact but well finished, the 2008 BMW Z4 M cabins make a most inviting driving environment. Exceptionally supportive sport buckets -- swathed in the same premium Nappa leather that wraps the steering wheel, shift knob and handbrake grip -- legible analog gauges and well-positioned pedals, function levers and switchgear are complemented by distinctive "M" logos on the doorsills, headrests and steering-wheel center pad. Brushed-aluminum dash and console accents are set off by a "pearl gloss galvanic" finish on the door pulls and handles, climate controls and instrument surrounds, but buyers can opt for no-cost Carbon Leather in place of the standard aluminum trim, or move up to optional polished Madeira Wood.

Exterior

Both the Z4 M Coupe and Z4 M Roadster boast numerous tweaks that impart a more visually aggressive character to the basic Z4 bodywork. Up front, a deeper front spoiler houses larger air intakes while bi-xenon headlamps replace the Z4's halogen units and longitudinal "precision lines" add extra visual emphasis to the hood. The distinctive rear treatment includes LED Adaptive Brake Lights that respond to the intensity of the stopping effort and a revised lower diffuser punctuated with chrome-tipped quad exhaust outlets. The Z4 M models also benefit from upsized wheel and tire fitments, with Z-rated 225/45R tires up front and 255/40R in the rear on unique 18-inch alloy wheels.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Standard equipment on the M models includes a full array of power assists, Nappa leather upholstery, remote keyless entry, on-board computer, automatic climate control, a 10-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 sound system, ultra-supportive six-way bucket seats, a three-spoke multifunction sport steering wheel on a tilt and telescoping column, comprehensive Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), a special M-spec variable-locking differential, 18-inch staggered-width wheel and tire packages and the weight-saving "M" Mobility System in place of a spare tire. The Roadster adds a fully-lined one-touch power top and fixed rollover hoops, while both cars have front, front-side and knee-protection airbags.

Optional Equipment

Individual extras on both the M Coupe and M Roadster include metallic paint, eight-way power seats with a three-position driver-side memory, heated seats, iPod Seamless Integrated System, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, extended Nappa leather (covering the dash, console sides, door panels, sun visors and windshield pillars) and BMW Assist with Bluetooth hands-free phone technology. The Premium Package includes eight-way power seats, cruise control, auto-dimming interior and exterior mirrors, a 10-speaker Carver/THX Certified sound system, BMW Assist with Bluetooth and interior stow nets. The Z4 M Roadster also offers a bolt-on hardtop and hardtop prep kit.

Under the Hood

The 2008 BMW Z4 M Coupe and M Roadster share the same 3.2-liter DOHC in-line six used in the 2006 M3. Fitted with BMW's Double-VANOS variable valve timing on both intake and exhaust valves, it further benefits from a host of M upgrades, including a compression ratio of 11.5:1, individual throttles on each cylinder, high-performance lubrication and cooling systems and a freer-flowing exhaust, all of which helps it make 330 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. Backed by a quick-shifting, six-speed manual gearbox, it will send either of these stormers to 60 miles per hour in a claimed 4.9 seconds. There's even a special console-mounted "Sport" button that quickens throttle response.

3.2-liter in-line 6
330 horsepower @ 7900 rpm
262 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4900 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/22

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2008 BMW Z4 M Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.3
Out of 10

Based on 207 Ratings for the 2003 - 2008 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.2/10
    Quality
    9.4/10
  • Reliability
    9.4/10
    Performance
    9.6/10
  • Comfort
    8.9/10
    Styling
    9.6/10

So much better than the new sDrive...

By on Friday, July 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 110,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "The best, bar none, weekend driver you can buy."

Cons: "Not so good in a city or on bad roads. Or snow."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

My baby, brand new

"The 2006 BMW Z4, of any build, is infinitely better than the new sDrive Z4. The electronic controls have removed the driver from the new car. The 2006 Z4 is one of my favorite cars I've ever seen, and I'm lucky enough to have put 100,000+ miles on it with no mechanical issues. It looks fantastic, and driving through the mountains with the top down is one of lifes greatest luxuries. I could go on and on about how wonderful the car is. I really could. But I don't feel there's enough elaboration on the negatives, which are primarily ride comfort and maintenance costs. A full set of new brakes will run about $1000 installed, tires are generally Z rated and $180/tire (More if you stick with the runflat bricks) and though nothing ever really goes wrong, anything to do on the car is incredibly expensive. I had an oil pan gasket replaced and it costed me nearly $800. The ride comfort is... To put it bluntly, terrible. Low profile tires and a racing stiff suspension, you will feel every bump, rock, crack, and divet in every surface you drive on. As a daily commuter in a city, you will develop back problems quickly. That being said, that same suspension and those wide rear tires make this car one of the best weekend cruisers to have ever been made. I have the E89 i6 278hp 270lb/ft plant in my car, and that engine, combined with the amazing dual clutch flappy-paddle gearbox is an absolute DREAM to rev into the upper 6800rpms and hear that great engine purring as you cut a corner with the top down and the sun on your face. BMWs last true Ultimate Driving Machine."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

My baby, brand new

What a Winner

By on Thursday, June 12, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 29,200

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "A real driver's car."

Cons: "Typical Z4 crummy cup holders."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"This is my third Z car. Started with a Z3 a few years ago. Gave up a low mileage 2003 Z4 that won awards in area car shows for the Z4M. Glad I did. What a joy to drive. I don't find the ride harsh at all. It's just very solid. The engine is the most flexible I've ever encountered; very tractable at low rpm and a real screamer above 4500. It'll never be a rare car (they made 3041 N. America roadsters), but it should retain good value if well cared for. My wife will not believe it, but this is likely my last car. It's that good."

3 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Two year old with me: second owner: awesome car!

By on Friday, May 30, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Superb driver after ditching the run flat tires:"

Cons: "None in my opinion."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Bought it two years ago, with 50K miles. Six-speed, 3.0, all options. My third BWM, and my best. Hauls a**, and cruises when necessary. Body still gets looks in a crowd, and low maintenance. Throw back to the long hood, in line 6 sports cars. A real winner. Looking for a great sports car, don't look any farther."

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Bought car off BMW lease and love it.

By on Thursday, May 01, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 31,200

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Real sports car ride, handling, looks, fun drive"

Cons: "No cons"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This car is beautiful with every extra in it. Leather power seats, GPS. Auto/stick option, AM/FM/CD/DVD on board computer, rain censor wipers, power roof. All in excellent condition and only 31200 original miles. Garage kept. Looks like new."

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

If you're reading this review, you already know!

By on Monday, April 21, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 37,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Fast and rare!"

Cons: "Expensive to keep up!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"My wife bought this car for me 2 years ago in NC (2012). Its 2007 BMW M Coupe Black/Black with 29K on the clock! I paid $35K out the door. Since then I typcally only drive it on fridays or when the weather is perfect. I have since moved to CA where the roads are a bit harsh but the highway is a blast. I did use this as a daily driver and even with the sport mode "off", the jumpy and sensitve clutch is not for weak stomachs. I've since installed the CDV delete (best $35 bucks I ever spent). The only issues Ive run into are the headlight washer was stuck open on the right side, easy fix-remove the fuse so they dont come on. Beter than $750 to replace them at BMW. I did have a right rear tire blow out on Conti-Sport tires, the TPMS sensor worked great and alerted me before hand. Bad news though, insurance wont usually cover a flat bed tow(no spare tire). Change the fluids as suggested, premium only gas and be very careful on bumps (I've already replaced the underbody shield and plastics = Expensive!) I will admit that on long road trips its a bit harsh on my lower back ( I'm 5'11 @ 200 lbs) Other than that, she sleeps in the garage, covered in a BMW fitted car cover, ready for the next sunny day. No issues! I love this car more each day. Hope this helps and happy driving!"

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

This car is power and fun!

By on Wednesday, March 12, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 59,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "So much fun to drive, leave them at the red light"

Cons: "not big enough for much more than fun"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I had this car build from scratch and watched the progress on the computer. Its silver outside and red leather seats. Its a classic look. The new are still look like this one. This was the only year they put the race car transmission in them, now you can only get it in the M6. It will last for many years to come. I needed more room for my business travel or I would still have it believe me."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

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