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      02-16-2017, 11:08 AM   #1
Zoorah12
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Advice on next BMW

What's up guys,

First let me give you a bit of backstory: I'm coming from an 08 328xi. Loved the car- smooth engine and, though underpowered, handled well and was still a joy to drive on the back roads. From there I got a '99 M Roadster which has just been absolutely incredible- fast, direct, tight in the corners, and you can't beat the scream of that S52 engine in the high rev's.

I'm now pondering what my next purchase will be. I know that i'm comparing apples to oranges, but i've narrowed my choices down to the 335i (N54 engine), 135i (N54 Engine), and the Z4 M vert.

I want this to be a project. I'm essentially looking to build the best back roads warrior that I will also daily drive, so i'm interested in hearing opinions on what platform would be best to start with. Upon first glance I would assume the Z4M vert would be the easy choice, but it's difficult (and expensive as you likely need a supercharger) to pull more power out of the NA engine. On the other hand, I know that the N54 engine has a ton of readily available power potential and aftermarket support, but is it possible to get the handling up to snuff? And of the two, 135i and 335i, which would be the better starting platform?

Appreciate any insight. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has considered these three options. It's an interesting debate.
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      02-16-2017, 12:40 PM   #2
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Easy answer Z4 M.
If you thought the scream of the S52 at high revs is exhilarating, wait til you hear/feel the S54 at high revs.
While there's no denying that the tuning potential and horsepower per dollar spent of the N54, or any FI motor for that matter, is way above a naturally aspirated unit, all that extra torque and power doesn't necessarily translate into a better experience on the back road.
While low end torque and not having to rev up an engine may be preferred by some in daily driving, on the back road the linear, progressive, and predictable delivery of power and high revving nature of a naturally aspirated engine amounts to a far superior and emotional driving experience.
Couple that with the M-specific steering, suspension, LSD, and braking system out of the box and the Z4 M becomes the clear winner.
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      02-16-2017, 02:02 PM   #3
Zoorah12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Law View Post
Easy answer Z4 M.
If you thought the scream of the S52 at high revs is exhilarating, wait til you hear/feel the S54 at high revs.
While there's no denying that the tuning potential and horsepower per dollar spent of the N54, or any FI motor for that matter, is way above a naturally aspirated unit, all that extra torque and power doesn't necessarily translate into a better experience on the back road.
While low end torque and not having to rev up an engine may be preferred by some in daily driving, on the back road the linear, progressive, and predictable delivery of power and high revving nature of a naturally aspirated engine amounts to a far superior and emotional driving experience.
Couple that with the M-specific steering, suspension, LSD, and braking system out of the box and the Z4 M becomes the clear winner.

Thanks for the insight! I completely agree with everything you're saying. It's the reason I always preferred the Z3M over all of my friend's more powerful forced induction cars. There's just something about revving that naturally aspirated engine out in a light weight and focused car.

Having said that, moving up to the Z4M and S54 engine seems like a natural progression. My only worry with that car is that I won't have a lot of options for making adjustments and modifications. Is that the case? Or are there ample upgrade opportunities available?
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      02-17-2017, 12:39 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoorah12 View Post
Thanks for the insight! I completely agree with everything you're saying. It's the reason I always preferred the Z3M over all of my friend's more powerful forced induction cars. There's just something about revving that naturally aspirated engine out in a light weight and focused car.

Having said that, moving up to the Z4M and S54 engine seems like a natural progression. My only worry with that car is that I won't have a lot of options for making adjustments and modifications. Is that the case? Or are there ample upgrade opportunities available?
Another vote for the Z4M here. As a matter of fact, I just picked one up a month ago. It'll be the most expensive to buy out of the 3 choices, but it's the one that will not lose money as I believe they'll start appreciating in not too long. The car is just an absolute thrill to drive, and I say that with an E36 and E92 M3 available to me.

Even in stock form, the car feels plenty fast to me. While it won't be as easy to gain power like the turboed cars, you can still get headers for healthy gains (US headers are more restrictive than Euro or aftermarket), while adding a tune. You could also go more extreme and get 4.10 gears.

The only thing I'm not so sure about is that you said you want to daily it. The ride is super stiff and it's not very practical, so I don't know if that matters to you.

I can't tell you how happy I've been with this purchase!
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      02-17-2017, 03:49 PM   #5
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Of the three you mentioned, I'd pick the naturally aspirated BMW for naturally aspirated reasons. You're naturally sacrificing some practicality with the Z4, but it's easily the coolest and most unique of all the cars you've mentioned, naturally.
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      02-17-2017, 04:23 PM   #6
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I can't tell you how happy I've been with this purchase!
I like white
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      02-17-2017, 05:17 PM   #7
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If you are truly only considering those three cars, the Z4M is in a class of it's own as a fun daily and true canyon carver. It will easily leave the other two in the dust in pure joy to drive and agility.

Why not drop an S54 into the Z3M or are you tired of the platform?
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      02-17-2017, 05:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle B View Post
Of the three you mentioned, I'd pick the naturally aspirated BMW for naturally aspirated reasons. You're naturally sacrificing some practicality with the Z4, but it's easily the coolest and most unique of all the cars you've mentioned, naturally.
You could have added a few more "naturallies" but you didn't try hard enough naturally

M
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      02-17-2017, 05:46 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by dr.mba View Post
You could have added a few more "naturallies" but you didn't try hard enough naturally

M
Naturally, I could have.
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      02-17-2017, 10:48 PM   #10
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For me personally i would go with the 135i. I am in the same boat.. sorta, want to DD it, yet build an awesome fast car. The aftermarket availability is there for more power gains via the n54/n55, however the reason i would choose the 135i is because its going to be as close to the Z3 in terms of driving and nimble-ness (if that's even a word lol) yet being able to daily drive it and build it for more power easily. By all means if you have the time and money to mod the Z3 for more power down the line then go for it, but IMO the 135i seems to be the most efficient way to get what you want out of the car. plus im sure with what you save in the cost of the Z3 you could put that into supporting mods for handeling into the 135i. .. Again my personal take on it.
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      02-18-2017, 05:41 PM   #11
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I like white
Thanks! Was originally wanting an Imola Red, but I'm completely in love with Alpine White on Imola Red
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      02-18-2017, 06:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hhamd525 View Post
For me personally i would go with the 135i. I am in the same boat.. sorta, want to DD it, yet build an awesome fast car. The aftermarket availability is there for more power gains via the n54/n55, however the reason i would choose the 135i is because its going to be as close to the Z3 in terms of driving and nimble-ness (if that's even a word lol) yet being able to daily drive it and build it for more power easily. By all means if you have the time and money to mod the Z3 for more power down the line then go for it, but IMO the 135i seems to be the most efficient way to get what you want out of the car. plus im sure with what you save in the cost of the Z3 you could put that into supporting mods for handeling into the 135i. .. Again my personal take on it.
If you think the 135i is nimble with a slow steering ratio of 16.0:1, try driving a Z4M Roadster with a 13.7:1 steering ratio or the Coupe with a 12.8:1 ratio!
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      02-18-2017, 06:19 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by 86Zed View Post
If you are truly only considering those three cars, the Z4M is in a class of it's own as a fun daily and true canyon carver. It will easily leave the other two in the dust in pure joy to drive and agility.

Why not drop an S54 into the Z3M or are you tired of the platform?

Thanks for all the replies. I definitely agree with what everyone is saying about the Z4M. I actually plan to keep the Z3M most likely, I just want to leave it stock. This new car is going to be my project, so i'm just looking for the best platform to start. The 135i is definitely a great option as well, as I worry a bit about daily driving the Z4M.

Z4M aside, what do people prefer between the 335i and 135i?
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      02-18-2017, 06:31 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoorah12 View Post
Thanks for all the replies. I definitely agree with what everyone is saying about the Z4M. I actually plan to keep the Z3M most likely, I just want to leave it stock. This new car is going to be my project, so i'm just looking for the best platform to start. The 135i is definitely a great option as well, as I worry a bit about daily driving the Z4M.

Z4M aside, what do people prefer between the 335i and 135i?
135i is great looking, one of my favorite cars...ever.
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      02-18-2017, 08:29 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by XMetal View Post
If you think the 135i is nimble with a slow steering ratio of 16.0:1, try driving a Z4M Roadster with a 13.7:1 steering ratio or the Coupe with a 12.8:1 ratio!
Oh for sure i wouldnt doubt it, but as a DD i think the 135i is fine, if you really want to change it tho im sure it wouldnt be that big of deal.
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      02-20-2017, 11:19 AM   #16
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Sort of off the mark, but why not consider a 235/240? I found the 335 to be much less performance oriented, even w/ msport handling, and your other options suggest you aren't really locked into the 4door (135 is a 2dr, right?). If you still consider the 335, you owe it to yourself to try a 235. And if it is just for back roads, I'd go for the 'vert.
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      02-20-2017, 09:50 PM   #17
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Z4M hands down because the S54 is brilliant. For non-M cars, I'd also toss the 228i Track Package into the mix before the 135/335i. Then the M235/40i. An E46 M3 or E46 330i ZHP are also more raw and fun than any F series BMW.
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