'06 M Roadster is here!!
I posted this review on the main Z4 board, but thought I'd re-post to the NW board as I'm a Seattleite. I met a few of you 3 years ago when I got my '03 Z4 and want to give you the scoop on the M Roadster I just picked up.
I just received my '06 M Roadster and figured others would be curious for an update and impression. Pictures are hosted here:
'06 M Roadster Pics
1) Exterior. Fairly subtle differences from the stock Z4. I wouldn't mind if the cars were visually a little more distinct (eg M3 and stock 3 series) however this is simply a beautiful car. Creases down the hood, air intakes where the Z4 foglights are, quad tailpiples, lights, emblems are the visual differences from the exterior. Car is Interlagos Blue with black top. My car was parked directly next to an M3 of the same color at the dealer. The German Interlagos Blue and the South Carolina Interlagos Blue are slightly different colors. Inside the dealer, mine looked more blue and the M3 more blue/purple. Outside, mine had blue/purple tinges to it. Interesting and to my taste attractive.
2) Interior. Again, similar to the stock Z4 in many ways. Differences are the steering wheel, gauges, shifter, trim on the controls, trunk space. The steering wheel is fantastic. Thick and muscular and perfect in the hands. Gauges are cool at night, not that visually distinct in daylight. The RPM limit is illuminated as you drive and increases as the engine warms up. The shifter is good-looking with very solid short throws. I like the metal trim on the knobs -- particularly at night when lit up. The trunk is smaller than the stock Z4 due to the tire repair kit. Not a big deal in most respects, although the old Z4 claim of two sets of golf clubs in the trunk will not be achievable in the M roadster. The M seats are fantastic. I always hated the seats in my '03 Z4. The lateral support is perfect although I imagine it might be pretty snug for someone on the wide side. The power adjustments and memory are good. Only complaint is it would be nice to have adjustable lumbar support. As M seats are optional on the stock Z4, these seats are not unique to the M roadster. I got the carbon leather trim site unseen. The crosshatch pattern is interesting (see pic). Overall, I like it, although I got very used to the aluminum trim in my '03, so I may like the carbon in part because it is a change. Cup holders are unchanged and still, IMO, suck.
3) Drive. The sound is SWEET. At idle, I have to admit I wouldn't mind a bit more throat and rumble. Not an intimidating idle sound. At 3500 RPM and up the engine growl is music to the ears. Who needs a stereo. Clutch and shifter are great. With the sport button on the throttle is noticably more sensitive but it's not a big difference. The steering is rock solid. I absolutely prefer the feel of the M hydraulic steering. The car tracks like a laser and feels simultaneously very responsive yet solid at the wheel. I don't know what the M roadster skidpad numbers are, but I can't wait to push her in the corners. I can already tell cornering will be a dream. I'm currently at 38 of the 1200 miles I need to reach before I can push the engine, and I'm pretty cautious about obeying the rev limits. 85 MPH is around 3000 RPM, though, so it's still easy to get up to speed. Even a gentle push on the accelerator yields good pull in all gears, but *clearly* the business starts at 4K RPM or so. I do believe it's good for the engine to see some variety, so I've run it up to 5000 or so periodically without staying there; the engine sound and the pull really change, and I'm completely sure this car will run like a *bat out of hell* when I can unleash her. I can't wait.
I've got the typical package including Premium with BMW assist. Not many options available yet. Only things I added after delivery are IPOD adapter -- dealer placed it into the ashtray, VERY SLICK -- and windblock.
Well, there you have it. Despite not pushing the engine, I'd give this car an "A" at this point. Strong points are handling and engine. Summer is coming and I'm thrilled! Best to you all. SW