Originally Posted by SD Z4MR
I never liked the Z3 which is why I bought a new S2000 in 2000, the first year it was made and kept it for almost 13 years. To me the Z3 tried to be so retro that it looked outdated the day it was introduced. I think the S2000 was a far better looking modern take on a classic roadster because instead of wood and dials in the cabin, it had a digital speedometer and an electronic interpretation of an analog tachometer. At the time every car mag that tested the new S2000 against the existing Z3 and the Porsche Boxster ranked the Honda #1, in looks, performance, handling, just about everything, except maybe creature comforts, although it came with Recaro seats. It didn't even have a clock, but the BMW came with heated seats. It had an award-winning engine that had more horsepower per liter (120hp/liter) than any normally aspirated car until Ferrari introduced the 458 Italia. It was as reliable as a Civic or an Accord, but outperformed the BMW and the Porsche roadsters at a significantly lower price. And the redline was 9000 RPM! It wasn't until BMW introduced the M Roadster and Porsche introduced the Boxster S could either one outperform the S2000, although I've personally smoked a Boxster S at a track day.
I hated the Z4 when I first saw it, thought it was another horrible example of the Chris Bangle "flame-sculpted" school of design (although it was actually designed by Anders Warming). However, after buying my wife's 335is Coupe in 2011 and joining the BMW CCA, we started hanging out with all of the other BMW owners in the local chapter and I saw a few Z4 M Roadsters and they kind of started to catch my eye over the last year. I got a chance to drive one last summer and fell in love with another car, so the S2000 had to go. I bought a 2006 Z4 M Roadster last July and it's only the second used car I've ever purchased, the last one in 1969. I have come to really appreciate the design and style of the Z4 and I really think that it was ahead of it's time. It's still eye catching and makes people's heads turn, even though the original design is 10 years old, partially because the bottom started falling out of the roadster market in the mid-2000s, they didn't sell very well, and people just really don't see them that often. They're a tremendous bargain for a true roadster sports car with one of the best engines that BMW has ever made, the S54.
Yep, the Z4 design was so ahead of anything else it's taken a while to be accepted, going from strange in the eyes of many to being a very cool design. What I like so much about it is the side silhouette ...... the way the line from the front fender continues through the door, and at the back of the door dips down then up into the rear panel .............. while the actual sheet metal of the door at the top is straight across, that silhouette harkens back to the roadsters of the 50's and 60's, like the AC ............... a very retro modern look in my opinion, a thing of beauty