Lunch-time Passenger Comparison: 2015 M4 vs. 2015 C7 Z06

Categories BMW, Corvette, Torque Affair

When people are working their day jobs and then take a break for lunch, they normally eat.  We’re all humans and so we get hungry and must grab some grub periodically.  Not me.

I take the lunch hour, instead, to go around looking for people to bug that have obtained cars recently that I wish I owned instead.  Recently, I came across two gentlemen who work together with a friend of mine.  One of them owns a beautiful C7 Z06, and the other a beautiful BMW M4.  The cars were quietly resting quietly in their office parking garage until I showed up at which point we proceeded to take them out for a spin.


A lunch hour provides just enough time to do some driving nearby and provides an opportunity to relax and get some blood pumping after being stuck in a chair for hours.  It’s better than the strongest coffee you can find.  Although in a car, you’re still in a chair, high velocity driving is sure to get some adrenaline pumping through your dying veins as you wither away in your office chair.

First up was the monstrous C7 Z06 with 650 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque.  I’m not sure if most people can differentiate visually between a regular C7 and a Z06 but to me it’s obvious.  The aggressive, wide stance of the car, the big wheels and the ultra-wide tires make the car appear as a racecar that is barely street legal.  The looks match the incredible power output of the car.

Being a passenger in the Z06 with the Targa roof off meant that the loud exhaust screamed at high rpms.  It was such a thrilling ride.  You hit 100 mph quicker than most cars hit 60 mph.  It’s definitely a bit too powerful for driving around town, but I’m sure on the track it provides an experience that can only be matched by a car way more expensive than the Z06.

The Z06 had an amazing combination of a stiff yet, weirdly comfortable ride that all worked well.  The interior did feel luxurious especially if you compare it to previous generations.  Actually there is no comparison.  The interior is so good that you wouldn’t think that the older Corvette was the same car.  If you were blindfolded and put into the new Z06 and someone told you that you were in a Corvette, there is a 99% probability you wouldn’t believe them.

The C7 Z06 is so impressive that people should really change their mind about Corvettes.  It’s not the mid-life crisis car for older dudes anymore.  This is a real legitimate super car obtainable at a very reasonable price.  The owner of this Z06 purchased the car for roughly $80K which is such tremendous value for a car that can outrun cars three or four times its price on a track.

2015 C7 Z06

After getting my fill of 650 hp in the Z06, I moved onto the M4 to get my remaining fill of 425 hp.  The car may not have that much more horsepower than an E92 M3, however, the 101 lb-ft increase in torque makes a huge difference.  The spec states the M4 produces 406 lb-ft although I think the car has more power than that: my guess is that it comes underrated from the factory.  The actual output could even be 420-430 lb-ft of torque.  Regardless, this was a very quick M4.  The interior was typical German refinement that you expect in BMWs without being flashy.  Bordlerine spartan – typical BMW.

The M4 was disappointing in the sense that it felt too much like a normal luxury car.  Sure it was fast and I’m sure it’s amazing around a track, but as a passenger, the car is so quiet and refined that you don’t get the sense that it has any actual track prowess.  It’s so quiet that BMW has to augment the exhaust noise through the speakers which according to the owner isn’t all that easy to disable.

At first your reaction might be like: this is the worst thing everfake exhaust noise??  Who does that?  But, to be fair, the sound coming out of the speakers wasn’t discernible and I couldn’t tell that it was manufactured sound, until the owner pointed it out.  It adds just enough to make it sound better than it otherwise would’ve been.  Still, why did BMW have to make the exhaust so quiet that they had to put in extra work to artificially boost it inside the car?  Couldn’t they just have lessened the muffling on the actual car instead??


The M4 is clearly the better daily driver, being less flashier and roomier than the Z06.  The ride on the Z06, however, was comparable to the M4.  For being such a beast of a sports car, the Z06 can be a relatively comfortable car to drive around.

I’m surprised at the price point of a base C7 Z06.   You can get one without a ton of options for around $80K which is an insane deal for an insanely fast sports car.  Chevy should’ve nabbed the word “ludicrous” for its Z06 before Tesla did.  A base model M4 would be cheaper than a Z06 but it would take too many options to add before the M4 is roughly the same price as the Z06.

If you buy a new Z06, they throw in some classes so you can learn how to drive a monster like this and handle it on a track which is a nice little perk to have.  But you should be careful because even with all the nannies on, it’s not too difficult to get into a lot of trouble with the Z06.

You probably shouldn’t even drive this car without having those classes because you can have all the computers in the world and you still might lose control of this car around turns by barely tapping the throttle.  650 lb-ft is an insane amount of torque on a car weighing less than 3400 lbs.

As refined and respected as the M4 is, I’d still go with the Z06.  I love Corvettes!

2 thoughts on “Lunch-time Passenger Comparison: 2015 M4 vs. 2015 C7 Z06

  1. It seems like more and more sports cars are also able to be comfortable compared to just 10-15 years ago when they were hard as rocks. My wife rented me a Cayman S for my birthday. I was a bit concerned for her comfort on our day trip through the mountains with the 20″ wheels, but it was amazingly smooth on all surfaces and really felt like it could road trip well. Maybe it is just because I’m used to my recent daily drivers of my Nissan Titan and Honda CB500X (which feels like it is sprung for 220lbs!)

    Overall I agree that the M4 looks a bit more subdued when compared to the Z06. Both look great, but definitely different styles.

    1. The Cayman S sounds pretty cool! The newest Caymans are getting so much closer to the 911s. Hopefully, I find one to drive soon!

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