Joy. The dictionary defines it as; the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying. Well then, its no wonder why based on the performance orientation and dynamics, it could be the reason why BMW selected "Joy" as a marketing tagline over the past several years. The joy of driving these machines is sometimes hard to explain, especially if you haven't had the spoken joy of driving one. However, I will try my best to explain.
This week, BMW has delivered a stunning, 2014 BMW Z4 sDrive35is that happens to fit perfectly in my garage. To say the full model name is quite a mouthful, and speaking of the mouth, driving this pocket rocket is more jaw dropping then expected. Many onlookers, especially men, may look at this car and laugh, and ask where my girlfriend is, and why am I driving her car? Well let me tell you, if this car is expected for a female to drive, I would gladly throw on some lipstick with a sundress and drive it all day! No doubt the lines on this car are soft, and the pearl white paint may also hint towards femininity, but take a closer look at the optional 19" wheels, the aggressive, low-slung stance, and take note to the symphony of the exhaust.
Speaking of sound, the complete orchestra of the twin scroll turbo blended in with 3.0 V6 engine and dual exhaust tips will give you reason enough to keep the impressive Harmon Kardon sound system in the off position. The downshift gurgle coming from the rear exhaust pipes will guarantee a smile each time its noticed. The amazing power plant is then mated to a lightning quick 7-speed dual clutch transmission that can get the sleek hardtop roadster to 60 miles per hour in a supercar lightning quick 4.7 seconds.
While on the subject of seconds, the impressive hardtop reveals a sheet metal symphony of synchronized moving parts and panels that can permit an open-air cockpit in a matter of about 18 seconds. All of which can be done at the speed of up to 21 miles per hour. Besides being able to drive and retract the top, the interior can also become an open-air masterpiece by pressing and holding the unlock button on the keypad. When leaving the vehicle after a spirited drive, and all the joy has taken over your mind, holding the lock button can also close the top.
At 6'3", I found myself awkwardly comfortable at all times in the dynamic roadster. Power seat bolsters, lumbar support, and manual thigh support all contributed to my comfort level. The optional brown leather added a supple feel to the surfaces, while the white stitching used on the seats and throughout help to underline the luxurious orientation of the interior. Controls were all close, and always within easy reach status. In true German fashion, controls were simple, yet elegant.
Turning heads on each corner it bolted by in South Florida the Z4 went, the SLINGY roadster remains a key member of a limited niche segment. Very few sports cars offer the exhilaration of a supercar, supplemented with violent dynamics that has the ability to behave like a well mannered sedan. Three different drive modes allow the Z4 to be customized to the driver's performance preference. As a spirited driving enthusiast, my favorite was also set to Sport +, which automatically turns off traction control to maintain full use of throwing the back end out along the way of carving the tightest corners and edges of the road.
Although Florida doesn't include snow in any upcoming forecasts, the Z4 remains a perfect convertible for all season driving. During summer months, the wet season in Florida creates a perfect opportunity to utilize the power top up at speed feature. There is no doubt the 2014 BMW Z4 sDrive35is should be added to the purchase subset for anyone that is in the market for a sports car that offers premium performance dynamics blended with versatility and style. For more information on the Z4, and the rest of the “Ultimate Driving Machine” portfolio, visit bmwusa.com. Thank you BMW for all the joy.