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Drove a 2.3 Z3 (archive)

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Posted by Robert on September 29, 1998 at 09:26:19:

Or should I call it the 2.5 Z3? Well whatever you want to call it, it gets a big thumbs up from me. Seat of the pants it feels very close to the 2.8, but the single word I would choose to describe it is smooth. As buyers have to now choose between the 2.3 and 2.8 model I would suspect options will dictate which model they leave with instead of performance. The 2.3 model is stripped down to get the $30k price (but that's one hell of a car for $30k). If you end up decking it out with all the options might as well make the additional small jump to the 2.8 which comes standard with those options.

The exhaust note was quiet but nice, the handling was very 1.9-ish (light, nimble, but with understeer). The butt had the wider 2.8 design, however with smaller the 1.9 wheels and tires it didn't fill out the rear wheel well and it made it look funny (I think the 1.9 butt would have looked nicer).

Just under $30k was the base price, but by the time you add leather, foglights, cruise control, in dash CD, destination, etc this one stickered for $33k and some change. The wheels were the same Z star design as the 1.9 (no wheel upgrade mentioned on the sticker).

It's fun (but kind'of pointless) to play "what-if" games. But "if" the 2.5 engine would have been released in the very first Z3, I would suspect the 2.8 Z3 would have never been created.

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