In what seems to be a regular occurrence with BMW lately, journalists were given a chance to drive some pre-production prototypes of the upcoming G29 BWM Z4. This pre-pro test was done in the stunning Mirimas, France and journalists were able to drive the new Z4 on track, following a BMW M2 pace car which was driven by an instructor. The fact that BMW had journos chase an M2 shows how confident BMW is in its new Z4’s dynamic capabilities. In fact, we had a representative of our own in attendance, to sample the new Z4. If you want some video of this new Bavarian roadster, Auto Express has a new video review.

Before we start talking about Auto Express’ feelings for the new Z4, let’s talk about what it is. The car that was on hand to test was the BMW Z4 M40i, the first M Performance variant of the Z4 and the fastest one we’ll get until the proper Z4 M debuts. Under its hood lies a 3.0 liter turbocharged I6 engine (BMW’s B58 engine) which makes 360 hp. That’s currently the most powerful car to use the B58 engine in BMW’s range. That engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic gearbox and sends power to only the rear wheels, via an electronically-controlled rear diff as-standard.

This new BMW Z4 was also co-developed alongside the Toyota Supra, which has been the big news surrounding it since rumors of its existence first began swirling. So, dynamically, it should be a proper little sports car. Is it, though? Well, just ask AE’s Steve Sutcliffe.

“It feels like a proper, old-school, fun BMW”, he says in this new video. He gets very sideways in this review and seems to have a genuinely good time driving it. Just from the video, you can tell that the Z4 is easily controllable and very balanced, even when it slides. You could never hold the sort of angles you see in this video in the old Z4. It was too soft, too floppy and too heavy. This new one seems sharp, dynamic and genuinely sporty. It’s not just a high-tech BMW roadster with a more powerful engine and some stiffer suspension. It can seriously handle.

“At last, you don’t have to have an M badge on your BMW to really, really enjoy it.” That seems like high enough praise for us. We can’t wait to get into a production-series car and give it a real go.