2006 BMW E86 Z4 3.0Si - Toybox

By: Alex Affat, Unique Cars magazine

BMW Z4 rear half BMW Z4 rear half
BMW Z4 side badge BMW Z4 side badge
BMW Z4 wheel BMW Z4 wheel
BMW Z4 interior BMW Z4 interior
BMW Z4 interior seats BMW Z4 interior seats

The original BMW clown-shoe is a cult classic, but is its spiritual successor worth a look?

The original BMW Z3 ‘clown-shoe’ coupe bowed out in 2002, and left behind a lasting impression.

Its unconventional silhouette, mixed with its glorious driving experience spawned a cult following.

Notoriously built as a back-room skunkworks project, BMW engineers knew the Z3 roadster was a great driving car, but could do with a healthy dose of torsional rigidity; so they stuck a fixed-roof on it, and lifted the engine from the ever-glorious E46 M3.


Ultimately, it was a sales flop, but for those in the know – it was a white-knuckled driver’s car with a better power/weight ratio than the effervescent M3 coupe.

Its spiritual successor arrived in 2005, with a visual nod back to the clown-shoe’s funky rear-cab bias.

It’s got classic roadster proportions, with a low seating position, good visibility over the swooping bonnet, and a stout wheelbase, wide track and short overhangs fore and aft.


Upon launch, BMW spoke of the M-badged Z4 as a proper 911 rival – a big claim for any car to beget.

While this isn’t the Z4M, but instead the lower-spec BMW Z4 3.0Si,  the 3.0lt straight-six seems right at home in the tight and taught chassis.

It’s not as brash as the uprated M-car, but the silky six is still capable of 194kW and 315Nm – and a 0-100 sprint of 5.7 seconds.


If anything, it’s a more useable package than the white-knuckled M-car, with the rev-happy engine constantly encouraging you to ring out every gear.

Lorbek Luxury Cars in Melbourne is where you’ll find this 224,436km automatic example, with a price of $19,990.

For the dollar, maintenance records depending, this is an attractive sports coupe with massive amount of driver’s appeal, and a worthy nod to one of BMW’s most acclaimed yet forgotten models.


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