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BMW Z4 35is and Nissan 370Z Nismo in comparison test

Rossen Gargolov
BMW Z4 35is and Nissan 370Z Nismo in comparison
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D he most cars will become simple at some point overtaken by time. It stalks secretly in the slipstream, then finally passes by and passes away. You can't stop them - only counter them. With model updates or special editions, for example.

BMW sDrive 35is in 1:17 minutes over the small course

But then there are also cars like the BMW Z4 that overtake each other to let. It was a good two years ago when he - from a purely dynamic point of view - had come to terms with the role of the defeated. Back then there was the facelift, the ultimate chance to straighten something out again - with a real M model, for example. Instead, the E89 remained what it was from the start: the effeminate, hipsy and above all emasculated infusion of a great original idea.

The first BMW Z4 was either a real roadster or a serious sports coupé that wanted a new one be both in one and in the end became neither-nor. Expressed in numbers: in 2006 the BMW Z4 M-Roadster ran in 1.16.7 minutes. about the small course in Hockenheim. With turbocharging, excess power and nine years of technical progress in the background, the current BMW sDrive 35is now drives three tenths - you guessed it - slower in the test. Just for the sake of understanding: Such a perfectly normal Porsche Boxster, which the BMW Z4 used to really heat up, has now hurried over two seconds. Yes, the ground of the facts is occasionally hard.

Reconditioned engine in the Nissan 370Z

It is comfort at least not to be alone in his fate. Because even the Nissan 370Z is surrounded by this longing after the predecessor, after the original, its wicked exhaust gasp and the wow effect, which is always a little more subdued with the continuation of style icons. Ask the TT designers at Audi, they can tell you a thing or two about it.

In contrast to the BMW Z4, which at least technically fits into the time context, this backwardness of the Nissan manifests itself primarily in the ingredients . Apart from the displacement push-up of 200 cubic meters and the variable valve control, the engine goes back practically directly to the 350Z, which is nothing unusual if it hadn't been used in the Malocher SUV for 15 yearsGet a Pathfinder.

And you notice it with every turn. Even in sport mode it responds quite clubfoot, then rumbling up the speed ladder, rumbling, rattling, grinding with the waves, being shaken by the drive train through the engine room, but at least beating up to over 7,000 rpm. Swinging, but persistent.

The V6 vacuum cleaner in the two Z generation has so far experienced six performance levels. And even if the differences between them can be determined, nothing has seriously changed because of them. The paradox: Of all things, the PS kick of the Nismo to 344 PS is still the least important of all the insignificant ones.

BMW Z4 sDrive 35is with 340 PS

What this is about will become some now ask: Did the two perhaps only lined up to have the riot act written for them? Answer: a definite yes and no! On the one hand, such a BMW Z4 has to be clearly told that it should get its performance problems under control first before it can hang out the GT racing car elsewhere.

On the other hand - it is said - there would be But it is also a world beyond lateral acceleration and the ideal line; one in which terms like 'airfield' or 'carousel' are not necessarily associated with the Nürburgring. We at sport auto are actually extremely reluctant to go there. The BMW Z4dDrive 35is, however, now forces us to do it again.

Not only because of its limit range, which begins at a point where everyday life is far from over. But also because it unfolds something like charm there. It's not an excuse. Not for the absurdly high weight of the BMW Z4, not for the rough damping, but much too soft suspension, and not for its pathological tendency to understeer. As an excuse, however, you can let it go.

The engine and gearbox in the Z4 are out of place

Because the ambience in the BMW Z4 is fantastic. You sit close to the floor, in front of the picturesque metal knobs of the fitting, your neck is petted by the rough exhaust gas and you enjoy the picturesque hood panorama. So you languish there - soft on the wind, Bee Gees on the radio - and you would feel like a gondolier if it weren't for this grandiose engine: three liters, row of six, turbo, 340 hp, 500 Nm, pressure, revving, drama - I'm a star, get me out of here!

And the gearbox looks out of place too. As the only BMW outside of the M family, the Z4 is allowed to use the razor-sharp double coupler, which, as usual, mercilessly knocks the gears on the rear axle and thus probably most clearly expresses the turmoil of the whole concept. Our appeal: If the BMW Z4 has to be an SLK, then please do it right. With eight-speed automatic, anti-wrinkle chassis, whisper sound. Or just back to the roots: a roadsterold fathers custom, raw, fabric-covered, performance-tanned and - on top, so to speak - a stand-alone coupé.

The opportunities? Not that bad at all, as the next generation is being developed in cooperation with Toyota and is also building the Supra there. And its fan base is unlikely to react as indulgently to inadequacies in the driving dynamics as the now tolerance-tested BMW clientele.

Nismo variant slower than the normal

With the Nissan 370Z the succession has not yet been finally clarified. When? As? At all? Hardly any evidence, no facts. Somehow it's not as pressing as with the BMW Z4. In terms of driving dynamics, it is exactly where it belongs: with a respectful distance from the high performers and sufficient distance from the descending branch - to which the Nismo package, which at 12,750 euros makes up almost 40 percent of the base car, does not make any contribution.

In fact, quite the opposite. The incredible 15 HP more power is almost completely eaten up by the wide rear tires, while the supposed chassis modifications together with the - recently defused - Aerokit in Hockenheim add up to two-tenths behind the normal 370Z. Well bravo.

If you cut the surcharge out of the performance ratio, the bill works. Compared to the BMW Z4 sDrive 35is, which first pushes over the front wheels when turning in, then mostly continues to push itself along the radius and has to be very careful with its power when exiting a curve so as not to push over the front wheels again - as sorry as you are. snaps the Nissan 370Z in the comparison test Corner. Neutral, dry, purposeful, mechanically blocked.

Nissan 370 Z Nismo a head of character

To top it all off after a lap or two, something like a whim. Not because you would be incredibly fast with him, but because in the midst of all these superficial dynamics he can still be a whole guy these days. A character head with plenty of corners and even more edges; someone who has to be rammed the gear stick right into the streets; and one whose dynamics are not yet created electronically, but by human hands.

With this shirt-sleeved, heavy metal driving experience, it is almost reminiscent of the Corvette, which - just like him - never really reminds you was up to date and therefore cannot be overtaken by it.

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