2023 BMW Z4 M40i Review & Test Drive

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2023 bmw z4 m40i

Marking its third generation, the BMW Z4 continues on thanks to the joint efforts of BMW and Toyota birthing the Supra, of which the Z4 shares its platform. Getting a chance to experience the Z4 with the more powerful engine, the brand’s 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6-cylinder, I get a better experience of what the chassis is capable of on local back roads and highways for the sporty roadster.

Having 382 horsepower and 368 lb-ft of torque to work with, the Z4 M40i is a worthy contender for its unique roadster segment. The chassis remains to be rather stiff and up to the task of handling the power, which feels a bit more than what is stated on paper. Powering just the rear wheels, the Z4 M40i tends to break loose quite often, even without trying very hard. Such a feeling is fun, provided that you expect such to happen. Power is strong throughout the full RPM range with a nice low-end grunt where torque seems to surge early. The duties of the 8-speed ZF-sourced automatic transmission firing of quick shifts are expected and rewarding, even through the use of the manual shift paddles on the heated steering wheel.

2023 bmw z4 m40i side

The Z4 is inspiring to drive but doesn’t feel as connected as I would have hoped, with the rear end being a little loose. However, there’s a good feeling out on the open road in the Sport-Plus drive mode, where you hear the subtle burbles out of the exhaust with the top down and a rather peaceful cabin even in the open air.

See Also: 2019 BMW Z4 sDrive30i Review & Test Drive

2023 bmw z4 m40i rear

The Z4 looks proper for a menacing roadster, even more so adorned in its Thundernight Metallic paint that you see here. The power soft top opens and closes quickly, taking just 10 seconds, and you can operate it up to 30 mph. Speaking of seconds, the Z4 M40i gets up to speed pretty quick, taking just 4.4 seconds to hit 60 mph. Braking is strong but tends to be a little grabby upon initial application of the brake pedal. Overall, the driving and ride dynamic is good, and the adaptive dampers do well to firm things up when needed or allow you to dial in a firm setting through the drive mode or a customized individual mode to preset your driving perimeters for steering weight, transmission aggressiveness, engine setting, and suspension dampers.

2023 bmw z4 m40i gauge cluster

Fuel mileage is respectable for the level of performance, matching and sometimes besting the EPA estimates of 23 mpg city, 31 mpg highway, and 26 mpg combined.

2023 bmw z4 m40i dashboard

Inside the Z4, there’s a surprising amount of space where I feel right at home, being 6 feet 3 inches tall. In fact, I found myself moving the power driver’s seat forward a few inches from its farthest back adjustment. The heated seats seem to be on the hard side but provide just enough support for the performance level of the Z4 M40i, and having the 4-way power adjustable lumbar is a plus. I enjoy having the iDrive 7 system, which is a previous version from the current iDrive 8 found in newer redesigned BMW models. The system proves to have a short learning curve and has an excellent response time to your inputs through either the 10.25-inch touchscreen or the physical iDrive controller and buttons near the shifter.

2023 bmw z4 m40i seats

The Z4 M40i gets all the expected active safety features, including lane departure warning/centering, blind-spot warning, forward collision warning/emergency braking, and parking sensors. The backup camera system is a single-view setup but proves to be pretty wide-angled.

In the full spectrum of sporty and powerful luxury roadsters, the BMW Z4 M40i actually undercuts with its pricing starting at $65,300. While my nicely loaded Z4 M40i test vehicle comes to $73,620, it brings with it many desirable goods, luxury appointments, and excellent performance combined with a spacious interior. It’s nice that BMW kept the German roadster around!


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