With winter now upon us, it becomes more of an effort to leave the home fires and venture out in the evenings, but it seems that the chance to catch up and have a meal with like-minded souls at our monthly club meetings is a powerful drawcard. This month we had around 60 members at Golf Club, most of whom booked in for dinner and enjoyed another delicious meal created by their new chef.
Our President, Ray Youlden, dispatched the regular club business between meal courses, with input from those who had either attended or helped organise recent events. Ray then invited Steve Schmidt to talk about his recently acquired BMW Z4 35i which was on display in the dining room.
The sapphire-black Bimmer is a 2010 model, known as the Series II Z4 or E89, they were introduced in 2009 and ceased production in 2016. Unlike the earlier Z4s which were made in the USA, the E89 was built in Germany and redesigned from scratch to be a step up-market with a longer, wider and lower body than the earlier cars. The new Z4 also incorporated a retractable aluminium hardtop and a swag of luxury appointments. The swoopy exterior was designed in-house by Juliane Blasi and the asymmetric interior by Nadya Armamout – the first BMW to be designed by women, and the recipient of the 2009 International Industrial Design Excellence award.
During the first two years of production, the 35i (a designation which translates to 3-litre straight six with twin turbos and fuel injection) was available with either a 6-speed manual or 7-speed auto. The manual was dropped with the introduction of the slightly more powerful 35is in 2010. Only 210 examples of the 35i came to Australia, and of those only 20 were manuals, so it is not surprising that it took almost 6 months for Steve to find this low-mileage manual example.
Performance of the 35i is similar to that of its contemporary rival, the Porsche Boxster S. They both have staggering acceleration, reaching 100 km/h in 5 seconds from a standing start and topping out at around 260 km/h. It must be said, that the mid-engined Porsche is a better balanced car and arguably a more practical daily driver, but the Bimmer has that classic sports car feel about it and proportions reminiscent of the magnificent Healey 3000 . Steve admits that this was clearly a case of heart reigning over head. 😊