BMW invited a few journalists from around the world – ourselves included – to sample an early prototype of the upcoming BMW Z4 on their Miramas test track in the South of France. An embargo prevented us from telling you anything about it until today but now we can talk about what the Z4 will bring to the table, especially the M40i version, which will be the one to get. The Germans even published a teaser video showing the car under camo, taking on the challenging course at Miramas.
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Trials at the Autodrome de Miramas are focusing on fine-tuning of all drive and suspension systems – the basis for the sporty driving experience offered by the new BMW Z4. A new in-line 6-cylinder engine, a lowered sports suspension with electronically controlled dampers, a newly developed front axle, M light alloy wheels with mixed tires, an M sports brake system and an electronically controlled lock in the rear axle differential create an overall package that aims at making the new BMW M Performance a benchmark for driving pleasure in the roadster segment.
That said, the one rival it will have to beat will be the Boxster and, according to initial reviews, it looks like it will finally be able to at least challenge it to a duel, if not even win it. What will make the Z4 stand out will be the adaptive damper, LSD and straight six engine, which will probably eclipse the turbo four inside the engine bay of the Boxster these days. But that’s just a small part of it, as the suspension has apparently been given special attention, as Jos van As, the company VP for Driving Dynamics explains in the video below.
“The vehicle concept of the new BMW Z4 is geared consistently towards agility and driving dynamics,” he explains. “The high level of body stiffness and the very rigid suspension attachment provide the perfect basis for a set-up that guarantees the performance qualities of a genuine sports car in terms of steering precision as well as longitudinal and transverse acceleration.” So they say but until the finished product is out, we need to take their word for it.