Drove a Z4M again after selling mine in 2018 (impression)

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Franzino
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Drove a Z4M again after selling mine in 2018 (impression)

Post by Franzino » Mon Apr 19, 2021 11:50 pm

For who is interested; I made a small Instagram impression on how it was driving a Z4M again after selling my own car in 2018. The car that came after the Z4M is the Alpine A110. I stepped out of the A110 straight into the Z4M and drove it for the rest of the day. It's not a detailed Z4M vs Alpine review, but just a small impression of me back behind the wheel of a Z4M and the reaction of some other Z4M owners.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CN2tbmAJulw ... ni14rqpai1
It was a long time a go that I drove a Z4M. I owned one for 8 years and I sold it in 2018. It was a great car; but how did it feel in 2021 when stepping out of the Alpine straight behind the wheel of a Z4M? Ofcourse the Z4M felt oldschool and a lot less modern then the Alpine. For some reason the Z4M felt slightly slower then I remembered; while on paper they have somewhat the same performance numbers. The higher revving S54 straight-six engine is a dream when you talk about engine response and sound. The hydraulic power steering, has a more direct and communicative feel then all the modern ones. The worst thing about the Z4M are the horrible seats; they are so much worse then I remember. No support on the side, lower back or shoulders. Put some Recaro seats in the car and it’s the best upgrade you could give it. If I need to choose between Z4M vs Alpine => Alpine A110 🥇
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Drove a Z4M again after selling mine in 2018 (impression)

Post by buzyg » Tue Apr 20, 2021 8:32 am

Nice little right up. :thumbsup:

Happily I find the seats very good in the Z4M. :D :driving:
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Drove a Z4M again after selling mine in 2018 (impression)

Post by mmm-five » Tue Apr 20, 2021 8:51 am

Totally agree about the seats (maybe Recaro Sportster CS instead of the Pole Positions ABE I have) - but I'd also add a set of decent coilovers to make the car how it should have been and can comfortably live with & drive on a daily basis for less than 1/3 the price of a used Alpine (about £50k at the moment in the UK).

I went with the PP ABE as I couldn't stomach the £5k for the Sportsters (although I did keep an eye out for about a year for any 2nd hand ones from crashed, newer Ms) - and I didn't need any reclining or folding functionality.

Also had the PSS10 kit fitted, and some other bits...but had to keep it usable on the road too, as I was doing 25,000 miles a year in it...and never found the PP ABEs uncomfortable on long trips either :P

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Last edited by mmm-five on Tue Apr 20, 2021 11:51 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Franzino
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Drove a Z4M again after selling mine in 2018 (impression)

Post by Franzino » Tue Apr 20, 2021 9:38 am

mmm-five wrote: Tue Apr 20, 2021 8:51 am Totally agree about the seats (maybe Recaro Sportster CS instead of the Pole Positions ABE I have) - but I'd also add a set of decent coilovers to make the car how it should have been and can comfortably live with & drive on a daily basis for less than 1/3 the price of a used Alpine (about £50k at the moment in the UK).
100% correct about suspension and seats. I already had Bilstein PSS-10 on my Z4M (very good upgrade), but if I did not sell my Z4M I would have fitted Recaro CS sportster seats (not Pole Position). But fitting CS sporter seats with seat frames and coding will set you back 5.000euro + decent suspension (and alignment) 2.500euro = 7.500euro (= £6.500). I always felt the Z4M seats were bad, but now after not driving it for some year I was surprised to feel they are so horrible (for my taste). The make the car also feel less connected to you, because you sit so loose.

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As stated; my Z4M roadster had a Bilstein PSS-10 suspension and the blue Z4M coupe a KW V3. Handling wise the Alpine feels scharper...but it is also 10 years younger. Overal grip is more on the Z4M and balance is totally different (front engine / mid engine). The Alpine feels more playfull and changes direction more quickly. The Alpine has NO manual gearbox; so lacks involvement in that area and the 1.8L turbo engine has also nothing special or unique about it. The Alpine A110 is unique and different as a total package, but his engine will not be remembered like the S54 from the Z4M. The engine, gearbox, high rpm make the Z4M a more emotional car on different levels.

I think the Z4M aged very wel and it’s already starting to feel like a old car but not yet a classic. In the coming years it will certainly evolve into a great classic. For the current money (halve the price of a Alpine) the Z4M is a great and rare car to buy & own 👌🏼

When talking about the price of used Z4M vs used Alpine. In my country the price difference is around 50%...you can get a Z4M coupe + a Z4M roadster for the price of a Alpine A110 :)

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Drove a Z4M again after selling mine in 2018 (impression)

Post by abar121 » Tue Apr 20, 2021 3:06 pm

Completely agree about the seats, truly awful.

They were ranked badly in a few surveys yonks ago and are still the only seats that I've had a problem with. Uncomfortable, unsupportive. But I guess they look good.

Seats are getting much bigger these days though. I used to find Porsche sports seats perfect, but they are way too big from the 981 / 991 onwards. Designed for the US market I guess.
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Drove a Z4M again after selling mine in 2018 (impression)

Post by RvsBmw » Mon May 03, 2021 8:55 pm

Cant complain (yet) about the seats, maybe its on track-use that it will not be the best option? Bought a Z4MC a month ago in Belgium. Hope to enjoy it for a while. Groeten uit NL. Ps. Nice M2!
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Drove a Z4M again after selling mine in 2018 (impression)

Post by Franzino » Tue May 04, 2021 8:18 pm

RvsBmw wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 8:55 pm Cant complain (yet) about the seats, maybe its on track-use that it will not be the best option? Bought a Z4MC a month ago in Belgium. Hope to enjoy it for a while. Groeten uit NL. Ps. Nice M2!
On track and street I think the seats are horrible and worse then I remembered. They were never great; but when driving other cars it was just something I noticed straight away when driving the Z4M again. Rest of the Z4M is still a great and unique car and something you will enjoy for many years to come. :thumbsup:

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Post by RvsBmw » Thu May 06, 2021 8:49 am

Franzino wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 8:18 pm On track and street I think the seats are horrible and worse then I remembered. They were never great; but when driving other cars it was just something I noticed straight away when driving the Z4M again. Rest of the Z4M is still a great and unique car and something you will enjoy for many years to come. :thumbsup:
Sometimes you remember it when you experience it again. Till now its oke, compairing it with de G20 (M) seats or Mini clubman sport seats. Hope to enjoy a little nible car for a while :)
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Drove a Z4M again after selling mine in 2018 (impression)

Post by Anakin » Thu May 06, 2021 9:01 am

Not as good as my Recaro wingbacks in the TT RS they really hold you in place. I do find the Z4 lacking after them.
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Drove a Z4M again after selling mine in 2018 (impression)

Post by maupineda » Sat Jun 12, 2021 10:20 pm

I have a Z4MC, and drove it across the US and into Mexico, 2600 miles, and to my anatomy, they were perfect, comfortable, and supportive, but I am a small bloke and fit, so to me, they were just plain perfect. Recaros CS are in my sight, but just for the improved looks, and not by much, the shape of the factory seats is pretty in my eyes.

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Post by -Tom- » Sat Jun 12, 2021 10:31 pm

maupineda wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 10:20 pm I have a Z4MC, and drove it across the US and into Mexico, 2600 miles, and to my anatomy, they were perfect, comfortable, and supportive, but I am a small bloke and fit, so to me, they were just plain perfect. Recaros CS are in my sight, but just for the improved looks, and not by much, the shape of the factory seats is pretty in my eyes.
Sounds like some amazing roadtrip !!!
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Drove a Z4M again after selling mine in 2018 (impression)

Post by -Tom- » Sat Jun 12, 2021 10:31 pm

maupineda wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 10:20 pm I have a Z4MC, and drove it across the US and into Mexico, 2600 miles, and to my anatomy, they were perfect, comfortable, and supportive, but I am a small bloke and fit, so to me, they were just plain perfect. Recaros CS are in my sight, but just for the improved looks, and not by much, the shape of the factory seats is pretty in my eyes.
Sounds like some amazing roadtrip !!!
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-Mini Cooper S Clubman

Previous - 3.0 si sport roadster, Silver Grey with Oregon Pearl Grey leather, Piano black, EIbach Pro, Stubby

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Drove a Z4M again after selling mine in 2018 (impression)

Post by Mr Tidy » Sat Jun 12, 2021 10:38 pm

That's an interesting comparison OP. :thumbsup:

I've had Z4s with the M-Sport seats for 7 years (to the day today) and never had an issue with them. They are much better than the Sport seats in my current 3 Series. :(

Although I did like the electric side bolster adjustment on the M-Sport seats that my 1 Series had, probably because I'm skinny. :roll:
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Drove a Z4M again after selling mine in 2018 (impression)

Post by Babw » Sun Jun 13, 2021 11:09 am

I don't mind the seats too much but a friend bought a Civic Type R. I jumped into it straight after being in the Z4M and the Civic seats are so much better!

The increase in support through the corners make them appear more comfortable because I assume your body is less tense as it's not having the counteract the sliding sensation. Only reason stopping me changing them is the shoulder support make the seats look much wider so lose the interior aesthetic.

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Post by wspohn » Sun Jun 13, 2021 7:10 pm

I don't have a problem with the M seats, and given that I have bad knees, I probably would have trouble with access/egress f I replaced them with a high sided seat like most Recaros. If I were racing, then sure, I'd go for a seat with more side bolstering, but I find the stock M seats a good setup for street use.
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