Rain and Recession, Go Away! The 2009 Z4 sDrive 30i

Damn the prevailing public mood of this he-cession. Though it’ll be a soothing tonic for low spirits, the beautiful and impractical convertible BMW Z4 sDrive 30i is a tough purchase to justify nowadays.

“Sometimes a car isn’t just a car.”
It’s light, powerful, pretty and, to accommodate all six cylinders beneath its bonnet, Freud would have said it’s shaped like a…cigar. Consequently it moves faster than you’re allowed to go – almost instantly: 0-100km/h in 5.9 neck-snapping seconds. We liked that regardless of how impractical it may be.

However it’s about more than speed. Sure it’s like a rolling rocket, but one with power-vacuums in its wheels. A whisper from the terrifically responsive accelerator in a tight corner and it’s like you’re commanding a curvaceous catapult, defying inertia. BMW attributes this to their 50:50 weight distribution, but you’ll know it’s the skill of the driver! There are three modes of driving control; the Sport+ takes you further into the mechanics of the drive. Suddenly the steering feels tighter and the suspension more, umm, suspended. You’re a slingshot.

Sexy details
The Z4 is designed to go fast but then you just want to sit in for long bouts. And you won’t mind the gradual Transformeresque assembly or collapsing of the convertible (unless it’s raining). It takes its time. Then you lose much of the trunk space once the roof’s down, so pack light if you’re going away for the weekend. Speaking of which, the Z4 doesn’t bother with charade of backseats like some roadsters and smaller performance coupes. That’s okay too. You won’t want to share with more than one person at a time.

Stick with it
An optional six-speed transmission with Steptronic paddles seems an unfortunate use of $1,700 – which you’ll need for gas. The very word paddle connotes punishment. Stick with the stick.

WIGYL? – Duh
In addition to making your head snap, the Z4 makes others’ turn. Boys, 80 and under, and many, many women will stare. You’ll also attribute this to the skill of the driver.

MSRP: $53,900. As tested: $64,900.

This is a test