BMW Z4 sDrive28i Review
Surprise package

Story and photos by Azfar Hashim
21 Nov 2012
 

Always liked the Z4 but put off by the big engine? Fret not - a smaller-engined, more efficient 2.0-litre variant is now available

Introduction

If you’re reading this, it’s obvious that you have a penchant for small, two-door, only-for-two roadster; great for driving fast from A to B, awesome for all that top-down driving and most importantly, good at impressing others.

Now the thing is, if you were to buy the wrong roadster, you’ll be in for a rude shock. They might not deliver what you’ve expected and worst still, they swallow petrol like a drunk banker on a Saturday night.

Gladly though, BMW’s Z4 doesn’t fall into that category. Ok, so the previous N55 3.0-litre engined sDrive35i might be quite the drinker, but now with a smaller and friendlier engine, the Z4 makes for a very charming proposition.

By now, you should already know the Z4 was designed by two ladies (read our previous sDrive35i review) from BMW’s DesignWorks USA. But driving the sDrive28i version here is not so lady-like.

That’s because this engine is punchy, and the fact that this turbocharged 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine – also seen in the 528i and 328i - is significantly lighter than the 3.0-litre 6-cylinder unit, makes things a little more wholesome. And balanced.

It is fast, don’t get me wrong. But it’s the sort of fast that is equally controllable, and with less brute. The sDrive35i on the other hand, might come across as overwhelming for some. Probably explaining why before this, the naturally-aspirated sDrive23i did better.

Which points out to the other issue. The sDrive23i isn’t exactly fast; it’s quick, yes, but not fast enough. The sDrive35i on the other hand, is way too fast for a roadster. Hence the sDrive28i (at this point it’s getting quite tiring to keep on typing the entire sDrive bla bla bla) is the perfect answer to those who wants the in-between Z4.


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Engine

Engine Capacity 1997cc
Engine Type Inline 4
Compression Ratio 7.9:1
Bore x Stroke (84.0 x 90.1)mm
Power 245bhp @ 5000rpm
Torque 350Nm @ 1250rpm
Power to Weight 163.9 bhp per ton

Performance

Acceleration 7.2s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 232 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 14.7 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 8 -speed Servotronic
Drive Type FR
Steering Hydraulic

Measurements

Body Type Cabriolet
Dimension
(L x W x H)
(4239 x 1790 x 1291) mm
Wheelbase 2496 mm
Kerb Weight 1495 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity 55 L

Brakes

Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Ventilated Discs