NEW BMW Z4 M40i

Canvas-hooded Z4 has more character and stronger sporting credentials than before, and a sky-high equipment level.

The new Z4 roadster is based on a platform developed in tandem with Toyota over several years, and it’s even built at the same Austrian plant as the new Toyota Supra. The overall design, characterised by some dominant lines through the flanks and softer secondary lines, is not a straightforward evolution of previous Z4s. The stacked, ‘double-round’ headlights are contained in large, deep housings and the new mesh for the broad kidney grille is also highly distinctive. Pronounced venting in the front guards reduces air pressure for better aerodynamics and myriad design elements are either finished in high-gloss chrome or high-gloss Shadowline.
Keen drivers will appreciate that this Z4 has more obvious sporting credentials than ever. There’s more aluminium componentry in the mix and front and rear tracks are notably wider. The sporting pinnacle for the timebeing is this M Performance variant with its 3.0-litre straight-six turbo, M Sport differential and ZF eight-speed auto. In Sport Plus, you get a fantastically flatulent soundtrack to accompany more urgency in the powertrain, suspension and steering, while the M Sport braking system reins in speed with aplomb.
As with any good sportscar, the feelgood factor is there from start-up. You sit low in a broad, spacious cabin that makes it easy to find an ideal driving position. Increased dimensions mean this Z4 doesn’t feel as nimble as earlier cars on narrow roads but the extra grip – prodigious in dry weather – is reassuring and encourages you to push deeply into a deeper performance envelope. This is a genuine sportscar, make no mistake. On flowing tarmac, you’ll find there’s good entertainment on offer at 60 per cent of the M40i’s potential and an awful lot left in reserve to be explored away from public roads.
For this third generation of the Z4, BMW has moved away from a folding metal hardtop in favour of a canvas hood, saving about 60kg in weight and giving up precious little in noise suppression. The simpler design has packaging benefits, too, as 280L of boot space is available regardless of whether the roof is up or down. It can open or close in 10 seconds flat, and does so while you’re on the move.
If you aspire to owning a Z4 like the Misano Blue car driven (add $1190 for the metallic paint), you’ll be interested to know that its wheels are the standard 19-inch double-spoke design in Cerium Grey, and the Cognac leather interior with décor stitching and aluminium mesh-effect trim are both attractive, no-cost options.

For specifications, click on SPECS tab on main image.

CATEGORY RELATED
READ ALL
BMW Z4 M40i

ENGINE 2998cc straight-six turbo

POWER 250kW (335bhp)

TORQUE 500Nm from 1600-4500rpm

TRANSMISSION 8-spd ZF auto

DRIVETRAIN Rear-wheel drive

WEIGHT 1535kg

LENGTH 4.32m

WHEELS 19-inch alloy

TYRES 255/35 (f) 275/35 (r)

0-100KM/H 4.5 secs

FUEL CLAIM 7.4L/100km

PRICE from $133,800

RELATED POSTS

BMW 330i SALOON

A weekend romp to the Beach Hop festival lets the 330i reveal its touring strengths and open-road potential.

BMW i8 ROADSTER (pt 2)

Roadster design has been brilliantly conceived and executed but open-air experience raises price above $300k.

BMW M2 DCT

Tearaway M2 picks up junior ‘M’ car mantle from bulging, limited-run 1M and introduces 'junior M4' looks.

BMW i8 ROADSTER

Dramatic-looking drop-top complements plug-in i8 coupe and caps BMW’s far-sighted i-car range.

MORE NEW CARS

JAGUAR XE P300 HSE

The fleet-footed XE has scored a substantial mid-life refresh. Can it make waves in our SUV-obsessed premium market?

FERRARI F8 SPIDER

Ferrari’s core mid-engined supercars promise greater on-road compliance and extra on-track agility.

ASTON MARTIN VANTAGE

Extended stint in highly-optioned car shows why the Vantage is winning over new and existing Aston Martin customers.

JAGUAR F-PACE SVR

Supercharged V8 broadcasts a stirring soundtrack in a double agent turned out by Special Vehicle Operations.