MANILA, Philippines - If there’s one certainty in life, it’s that you get all kinds of reactions when you go top-down in a BMW Z4 Roadster.
I discovered just that on a trip to Tagaytay in an sDrive30i. Past the Sta. Rosa exit tollgate, I retracted the aluminum roof and the effect was instantaneous. Heads turned, jaws dropped, wows were issued freely and even an expletive was thrown into the mix.
At the Nuvali area, we overheard a pedestrian dismissively remarking to his companion: “Pangkaraniwan na yan. (That’s nothing special.)”
Believe me, I was trying my best to squelch a comeback (it would have appeared supremely arrogant, of course). But, for the record, I so desperately wanted to retort: “Oh yeah? Then why don’t I see you driving one, buddy?”
Ah, the hazards Z4 owners must deal with on a daily basis!
The fact of the matter is that the Z4 demands attention; it’s a rolling conversation piece. You cannot not talk about it. And I cannot fathom how a six-million-peso car be commonplace. Maybe in Lala Land.
That’s why I reckon that even if you don your rattiest shirt, mess up your hair, then hop into the car, people would still wonder if they had seen a celebrity zip by.
And then you remember that it’s the car, stupid.
The moment you gaze at the propeller badge on its lovely shark snout, you’d be smitten. The double kidneys merely serve to cement the attraction.
Never mind that the Z4 is antithetical to the gamut of cars and the pitches that accompany them.
Need a frugal ride? Want a family shuttle? Fancy an errands enabler? Look elsewhere for these pragmatic needs; the Z4 won’t help you much there.
The Z4 is, after all, largely a psychic reward.
It boosts your ego, announces you’ve arrived and bleats to all that the occupants within are living the life. These intangibles are interpreted in the Z4’s physical characteristics. As an aspirational machine, it is right up there.
Power begets power, and the Z4 will not disappoint.
Pop open the hood, and you see a throbbing heart three liters large — good for 255 horses. This in-line, six-cylinder engine drives the rear wheels which, incidentally, you feel are right directly under you (the seats are about a foot ahead of the rear axle).
When you are heavy-footed on the gas, the Z4 will surprise you with its beastly instincts, its P225/45R17s grabbing the asphalt confidently.
This is a roadster, after all, even if the appointments within the two-seat ride suggest more than an inclination to race. Take, for instance, the three-spoke, leather wrapped steering wheel. I doubt self-respecting track-day racers expect audio and hands-free phone control on their wheel, but the Z4 has this thoughtful luxury.
Tastefully executed interiors provide both creature comforts without going over the top. The anti-theft AM/FM/CD/mp3 audio system delivers robust sound, and accommodates auxiliary input for your portable device.
Yes, there are a couple of cup holders too, plus a clip-in one on the center console. All the expected accouterments are within (this is a BMW, of course), except for rear seats. A slew of safety and technological standards also come with the package.
“Ay, pandalawahan lang (Oh, it just seats two)!” exclaimed another pedestrian, not without a tinge of sarcasm. Yes, you get to hear everything when you’re mired in traffic with the top down and, yes, the remarks will eventually get to you.
But that’s the beauty of this roadster. Once the traffic clears up, you just leave everyone (not to mention the negativity) in a cloud of dust, while you savor the experience of being in a car that few get to experience, and fewer still get to own. - Rappler.com
Kap Maceda Aguila is a freelance writer who contributes to several print and online publications. He loves cars, music, bowling and going on dates with his wife — not necessarily in that order.