When automakers launch their latest creations, a showcase of their newest technology is expected. Today, that means stuff like forced-induction engines, torque-vectoring differentials, and dual-clutch transmissions, a couple of which can be found in the redesigned 2009 BMW Z4. We’ve already sampled the new roadster in twin-turbo sDrive35i guise with the company’s new seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. And now we’ve finally gotten our hands and test gear on a good-ol’ manual-transmission version of that car, with the hopes of finding out if our left foot and right hand could wrangle some extra spirit from BMW’s lone sports car.
The new interior of the Z4 is a giant leap forward from the previous generation. A quiet, comfortable place with gorgeous styling—and, hallelujah, a little room to wiggle and stow cargo—it is light-years better than the gloomy cabin of the old. The execution of the interior styling is reminiscent of the Z8, especially when equipped with the optional Extended Leather package ($2050) that covers the dash and other interior bits with fine cowhide. But perhaps opt for a darker color, as although the Ivory White leather added a rich feel to the cabin of our tester, it already showed signs of soiling during our short time behind the wheel. The optional sport seats were very comfortable during long jaunts and the Premium Sound package ($2000) sounded great even with the top down. Ergonomically, the Z4 is well laid out and includes the latest version of iDrive, which boasts a far more intuitive interface.
Keep Reading: 2009 BMW Z4 sDrive35i Manual - Short Take Road Test