The brand new BMW Z4 m40i First edition is here, and I'm a little shocked at how much I like it. Let me clarify.
Z4 has never achieved greatness – it has always been just OK. The first Z4 debuted the way, back in 2002, and honestly, it was not bad to see. In fact, in my estimation, it was probably among the best of Chris Bangle-designed Bimmers, and the coupe version, especially in M-trim, was a pretty desirable car. Having said that, it has never inspired the BMW's rebranded Z8. As the years continued and the Z4 was transformed, it became bigger and heavier and less exciting, to the point I've sometimes forgotten that it's a model that BMW sells.
When rumors began to circulate that the new Z car would share a platform and powertrains with the new Toyota Supra, I just kind of shrugged it off. The new Supra looks cool and everything, but with BMW I have been disappointed before. And now, atBMW has fallen what I think is an exceedingly stylish, muscular and well-proportioned roadster. Yes, I'm a bit shocked.
The First Edition cars come in frozen orange metallic paint with an anthracite-soft, soft top, grateful to get away from the heavy folding hardtop, and 19-inch alloy wheels are standard. Inside, you get fancy black leather, a head-up display, powerful everything and just about all other luxury bells and whistles you can think of. It seems that it would be a nice place to spend time.
The new Z4 in the M40i trim is not exactly the second coming of the full ZM cars of the past, but it's away from being the biggest snoozer in BMW's convertible range to undoubtedly the best look. But can it back they look up with something more than typical Bavarian bravado? Yes, it looks as it can, thanks to a lower center of gravity and a 50/50 weight distribution. Oh, and a turbo-charged straight-six that is said to produce 382 horsepower and 369 pound-foot with torque.
The first edition version also comes with an adaptive M Sport suspension and large, steep M Sport brakes, as well as an electronically controlled lock differential from … yes you guessed it: M Sport. This would mean that Z4 could release its well-deserved image as a dumb-middle-aged Dadmobile, and return to Z-roots as a fun, attractive sports street.
Now, this first edition spec Z4 M40i is quite hot, but it can not be a sign of what we can expect from the more affordable and probable tamer Z4 30i, a model we would get specifications for next month and see in dealers come spring 2019.