Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2012 Chevrolet CORVETTE VS 2012 BMW Z4 Near Phoenix, AZ

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2012 Chevrolet CORVETTE

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2012 BMW Z4

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Chevrolet Corvette are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The BMW Z4 doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the Corvette and the Z4 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

Warranty Comparison

Chevrolet’s powertrain warranty covers the Corvette 1 year and 50,000 miles longer than BMW covers the Z4. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Z4 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are over 12 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are BMW dealers, which makes it much easier to get service under the Corvette’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

The Corvette has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The Z4 doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the car’s engine.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2011 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 16th in reliability. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 21st.

Engine Comparison

The Corvette has more powerful engines than the Z4:



Corvette 6.2 LS2 V8

430 HP

424 lbs.-ft.

Corvette 2 mode exhaust 6.2 LS2 V8

436 HP

428 lbs.-ft.

Corvette Z06 7.0 LS7 V8

505 HP

470 lbs.-ft.

Corvette ZR1 6.2 supercharged LS2 V8

638 HP

604 lbs.-ft.

Z4 sDrive28i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

240 HP

260 lbs.-ft.

Z4 sDrive35i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

300 HP

300 lbs.-ft.

Z4 sDrive35is 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

335 HP

370 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Car and Driver the Corvette 2 mode exhaust 6.2 LS2 V8 is faster than the Z4 sDrive35i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. (manual transmissions tested):



Zero to 60 MPH

4 sec

4.8 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

9.2 sec

11.7 sec

Quarter Mile

12.4 sec

13.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

116 MPH

106 MPH

Top Speed

190 MPH

149 MPH

As tested in Car and Driver the Corvette ZR1 6.2 supercharged LS2 V8 is faster than the Z4 sDrive28i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. (manual transmissions tested):



Zero to 60 MPH

3.4 sec

5.6 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

7.6 sec

15.7 sec

Quarter Mile

11.5 sec

14.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

128 MPH

96 MPH

Top Speed

205 MPH

205 MPH

As tested in Car and Driver the Chevrolet Corvette V8 is faster than the Z4 sDrive35i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. (automatics tested):



Zero to 60 MPH

4.3 sec

4.8 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

9.6 sec

12 sec

Quarter Mile

12.6 sec

13.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

116 MPH

106 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

The Corvette has 3.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the Z4 (18 vs. 14.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the Corvette ZR1’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Z4:

Corvette ZR1

Z4 sDrive28i

Z4 sDrive35i

Front Rotors

15.5 inches

13 inches

13.7 inches

Rear Rotors

15 inches

11.8 inches

12.8 inches

The Corvette ZR1 has standard heat-treated ceramic brake rotors, which last ten to twenty times as long as conventional cast iron rotors, don’t rust, don’t fade during repeated high speed braking, and their lighter weight contribute to better braking, handling and acceleration. The Z4 doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

The Corvette stops much shorter than the Z4:



80 to 0 MPH

183 feet

208 feet

Road & Track

70 to 0 MPH

141 feet

161 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

93 feet

107 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Corvette has larger standard tires than the Z4 (F:245/40R18 & R:285/35R19 vs. 225/45R17). The Corvette ZR1’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Z4 (F:285/30R19 & R:335/25R20 vs. F:225/45R17 & R:255/40R17).

The Corvette’s standard 245/40R18 front and 285/35R19 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Z4 sDrive28i’s standard 45 series tires. The Corvette ZR1’s 285/30R19 front and 335/25R20 rear tires have a lower 30 series front and 25 series rear profile than the Z4 sDrive35i/is’ optional 35 series front and 30 series rear tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Corvette has standard 18-inch front and 19-inch rear wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Z4 sDrive28i. The Corvette ZR1’s 20-inch rear wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels optional on the Z4 sDrive35i/is.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Corvette’s wheelbase is 7.4 inches longer than on the Z4 (105.7 inches vs. 98.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Corvette is 3.3 inches wider in the front and .2 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Z4.

The Corvette Convertible handles at .95 G’s, while the Z4 sDrive35i pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis Comparison

The design of the Chevrolet Corvette amounts to more than styling. The Corvette offers aerodynamic coefficients of drag from .286 to .34 Cd (depending on bodystyle and options). That is lower than the Z4 (.34 to .35). A more efficient exterior helps the Corvette go faster and keeps the interior quieter. It also helps the Corvette get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Corvette has .9 inches more front legroom and 1.9 inches more front shoulder room than the Z4.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Corvette Convertible has a much larger trunk with its top down than the Z4 with its top down (7.5 vs. 6.4 cubic feet).

Ergonomics Comparison

The Corvette’s optional easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Z4 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Corvette’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The Z4 has neither an oil pressure gauge nor a temperature gauge.

The Corvette offers an optional heads-up display which projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts onto the windshield, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Z4 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Corvette’s sun-visors swivel front-to-side to block glare from the side windows. The Z4’s visors are fixed into the windshield header.

Economic Advantages Comparison

The Corvette will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The Intellichoice estimates that the Corvette will retain 50.72% to 57.61% of its original price after five years, while the Z4 only retains 41.47% to 43.75%.

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