According to my friend's (the car dealer) hint, Maiple Leafs forward Mikhail Grabovsky made a present to himself by buying 2009 BMW Z4. What can we say? We hope Mikhail's play will be as good as this terrific (and not over-expensive) car during 2009-10 season.
Here is review published by edmunds.com
Even the base 2009 BMW Z4 sDrive30i is an entertaining drive thanks to its willing and preternaturally smooth 255-hp inline-6. The twin-turbocharged sDrive35i is better yet, offering up authoritative yet refined acceleration with no perceptible turbo lag. The snarky exhaust note only adds to the fun and gets angrier as the revs climb. The new dual-clutch automated manual transmission delivers quick and smooth shifts in manual mode, yet it doesn't lurch in parking lot situations, and gently easing into the throttle doesn't result in a sudden snap. In terms of handling and steering, BMW's latest roadster is sporty enough for most, but its reflexes and communication with the driver are lackluster when compared to those of Porsche's Boxster and Cayman. The main culprit here is the electric power steering system, which is largely devoid of the feel and feedback we expect in BMW products.
The outgoing BMW Z4, like the Z3 before it, was widely considered to be merely an expensive "sporty" car -- a Miata for well-off college coeds. But a full redesign for the 2009 BMW Z4 moves the car into the rarefied realm of true luxury/performance roadsters. The new Z4 is significantly more refined, there's a little more room inside and it now boasts a power-folding hardtop. It's more expensive, too, but that's to be expected with the advent of the retractable hardtop and a more luxurious interior. At $45,000-50,000 to start, the Z4 now goes head-to-head with well-established rivals like the Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class and the Porsche Boxster.
The Z4 mostly delivers when it comes to performance, the exception being its artificial-feeling electric power steering, and it adds a level of sophistication that few small convertibles can match. The base sDrive 30i comes with a capable inline-6 that's good for 255 hp, while the sDrive35i ups the ante with a 300-hp twin-turbocharged inline-6 that gets the roadster from zero to 60 in an estimated 5 seconds flat -- about as quick as last year's hard-core M version of the Z4. You can also get an all-new seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission on the sDrive35i that's similar to the M3's "M DCT" gearbox.
The latest Z4 is about 6 inches longer and 350 pounds heavier than before. Visually, the car is stunning. There's even a hint of the classic BMW 507 from the 1950s if you look closely at the front end treatment. The power-retractable hardtop also adds a whole new dimension to the car. Owners still get the al fresco driving experience of a convertible, but now they can seal up the car with the hardtop when the noise, wind and/or temperature get to be too much. The Z4's cabin is also more elegant than it used to be, with better materials and greater attention to detail. BMW's controversial iDrive interface system is available on the Z4 for the first time, and thankfully it benefits from the substantial revisions that BMW has applied for '09. It's much easier to use than before.
From a value standpoint, vehicles like the Audi TT and upcoming Nissan 370Z roadster are less expensive, but the Z4's higher price gets you a lot more car. Mercedes-Benz's competitively priced SLK-Class remains a viable contender, but the new Z4 eclipses it in some ways. Porsche's Boxster ragtop and Cayman coupe are more dynamically involving, and Chevrolet's Corvette convertible delivers big V8 power, but they can't match the versatility of the Z4's retractable hardtop. Overall, the 2009 BMW Z4's combination of sophistication, luxury and performance makes it a compelling new entrant in this entertaining segment.
Mikhail Grabovsky. Maple Leafs and Belorus Forward