WORLD PREMIERE: 2019 BMW Z4 M40i — A Concept Comes Alive

BMW Z4, News | August 23rd, 2018 by 51
BMW Z4 M40i First Edition 17 of 46 830x553

A few years ago, whispers of BMW and Toyota working together on a joint sports car platform were starting to trickle out. They seemed like nothing more than rumor at first, as there was no official information regarding such a joint effort. However, as the years went on, we started to learn more about this joint venture. Now, it’s finally here. BMW’s side of the partnership has just been revealed at the 2018 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance — the 2019 BMW Z4 M40i.

One of the biggest complaints we’ve seen from our readers has been that BMW concept designs rarely survive on route to becoming a production car. When the real cars debut, they typically look very little like the concepts on which they’re supposed to be based. Not this time, though. The new 2019 BMW Z4 looks very similar to the concept it’s based on, a concept that fans loved. In fact, the new Z4 might be the most concept-faithful production car BMW has made since the i8.

BMW Z4 M40i First Edition 13 of 46 830x554

“The BMW Concept Z4 Roadster is a promise of a production version planned for the future” said BMW Group Design Chief Adrian van Hooydonk when the Concept was released. He wasn’t kidding.

In terms of design, there are a couple of BMW-firsts for the Z4. Rather than vertical slats, its wide Kidney Grilles are filled with little “Y”-shaped designs. That styling cue is pulled directly from the Concept. Another design element pulled from the popular concept car is the use of vertically-aligned headlights, which is another BMW-first. Typically, BMW headlights feature twin, horizontally-opposed halos. For the Z4, though, they’re vertically-opposed. These give the Z4 a rather new face, one that’s quite a large departure from traditional BMW design, but it’s one we like quite a bit.

BMW Z4 M40i First Edition 11 of 46 830x587

Another interesting bit about its styling is just how sporty it looks. The previous-gen Z4 was prettier, smoother and more stylish. This new BMW Z4 is far sportier, stubbier and punchier. It looks like a sports car, especially in this M40i variant. Though, it still has the classic roadster proportions, with a long hood and short rear deck.

Inside, the new BMW Z4 features the brand’s new interior design language, which seems to be shared with cars like the new 8 Series, X5 and 3 Series. So it gets BMW’s latest iDrive, a new rotary iDrive controller that features a knurled aluminum bezel, a brand-new Head-Up Display and BMW’s new Live Cockpit digital instrument panel. It looks similar to the 8 Series’ as well, which is a good thing.

Holiday Fun: Mashup of BMW Z4 with Kia Stinger front-end

Thankfully, the new Z4 isn’t all face and no trousers (to pinch a line from Jeremy Clarkson). Built on the same chassis as the new Toyota Supra, this BMW Z4 is lighter, stiffer and more dynamic than its predecessor. It also features a perfect 50/50 weight distribution and, in the case of this M40i, a 3.0 liter turbocharged I6 engine.

The engine in question is BMW’s brilliant B58, which in the Z4 M40i makes 382 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. That makes the Z4 the most powerful BMW to feature the B58 engine, which is exciting considering how light it will be. BMW claims a 0-60 mph time of 4.4 seconds, though we reckon it will be quicker than that as BMW times are always criminally underrated. No wonder BMW doesn’t feel a proper M variant is necessary, the M40i is a rocket.

Paired with the punchy B58 engine will be a ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic that will route power to only the rear wheels in the M40i version (no word on if xDrive will be available on lesser models). It will also be getting an electronically-controlled limited-slip rear differential as standard equipment.

The model you see in these photos is actually the BMW Z4 M40i First Edition, which will be a limited special edition model for the people who buy it, well uhh, first. First Edition models will get an optional Frozen Orange Metallic paint, Vernasca black leather with contrast stitching, High Gloss Shadow Line trim and 19-inch wheels.

Full specs and pricing will come out September 2018 but cars won’t hit the road until Spring 2019. Journalist test drives will come sooner than that and we can’t wait to find out how the new BMW Z4 handles and if it can bring the model name back to glory.

51 responses to “WORLD PREMIERE: 2019 BMW Z4 M40i — A Concept Comes Alive”

  1. Hans Wurst says:

    I’ve been waiting for so long and I’m very very happy that it looks how it looks. Awesome! 😍

  2. Hayden8 says:

    A beauty !!!

  3. Giom says:

    This is going to take a little getting used to… from a curvy beauty, to a much more generic shape. It’s not bad look, it’s just not what the outgoing car was – at least from the looks department.

    Time will tell…

  4. Ej Reid says:

    What plant is going to be building this it needs to come home to plant 10

  5. Senne says:

    I am speechless. It’s incredibly gorgeous and it looks almost EXACTLY like the Concept. Well done once again, BMW. It will destroy any competition as well, I’m sure.

  6. vmoutsop says:

    It’s pretty good looking now that the production version has been released. I was skeptical of the front end but it looks good. I’m glad the grill is a traditional two kidney grill and not the KIA-esk kidney grill although I still think the lights are a bit big and wonky. I’m sure it will grow on me. So now that we have seen this I can’t wait to see what a coupe version will look like, great potential. Bravo BMW!

    P.S. I love that they put in the hood lines. Makes a big difference

  7. Kaisuke971 says:

    Looks pretty good overall but i’m gonna need some time to get used to the fascia, looks a little funky. Not quite the concept but still a nice looking roadster. I do think they did a better job with the 8, whereas the Z4 concept looked better than the 8 Series concept to my eyes.

    • PK says:

      me too. at the least bmw made it right with the interior but i wish the headlights wouldn’t look like that tho. it looks like the eyes are disfigured into a lower section of your face.

  8. Ofentse Letsholo says:

    It looks aesoawe, I love the interior and the back of the car.

  9. Icebreakerr says:

    very good looking car cant wait to see one on the road, Looks like the concept. Also the “first edition frozen grey model” has stunning wheels finally bmw is making nice wheels again :D

  10. seancorr says:

    Those headlights! Ewwwww, other than that it looks good. But seriously BMW could have done a better job with it.

  11. mrjones11 says:

    Come on… Was it really not possible to integrate the door handle with the side crease instead of just slapping them on as an afterthought ? Ditto the 8 series, probably the coming 3 series and the new X5 which can’t seem to make it’s mind up either way. Why is BMW abandoning one of the marque’s best and most elegant design characteristics ? Still want one though…

  12. milky_cereal says:

    I like it, iti’s a little more funky and different than other BMW’s of late. However, I dislike those headlights, don’t really work with the corporate DNA and look too much like the Fiat 124.

  13. Alexander S says:

    God damn you BMW! What the hell is that??? Why it looks so cheap?? Where is aluminum?:((((

    • Kaisuke971 says:

      I used to do a fixation on that but i realized that Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche, Aston-Martin and many other high end brands don’t use aluminium or metals for their controls but rather plastic or glass because it makes more sense from a visual standpoint. That’s why the AMG GT R has plastic buttons while the A-Class has aluminium, and why the X3 can be specced with galvanized controls while the Z4 most likely cannot even if they have similar price tags.

      You can even checkout the Huayra vs the Huayra BC: while the “base” car is specced with shiny buttons, you’ll see configs with darker ones that effectively look less expensive even if the car itself costs more.
      Because it looks sportier and makes more sense

  14. Marco says:

    Why is BMW copying designs from South Korean car manufacturers? Perhaps it is more interested in selling cars in the Far East than the West.

    It is a shameful attempt to compete with Kia and the like. Come on BMW you need to wake up with your designs and not just chase cheap short term markets.

  15. CDspeed says:

    Looks like something from Toyota’s Scion line, reminds me of the 80’s song Turning Japanese……

  16. Icebreakerr says:

    heard the exhaust on shme150 channel sounds amazing

  17. vmoutsop says:

    Look, at almost 380HP I want to see how it fairs against Porsche where it is supposed to compete with

  18. Arunabh says:

    Decent interior (they don’t look expensive enough though) and back but what were they thinking when designing the front. It can be Kia grille with Suzuki swift headlights or it can be slightly updated Fiat 124 Spider or it can simply be a mickey mouse.

    Again, just as with so many recent BMWs, a decent effort but nothing to write home about.

  19. Tinjay For Real says:

    Looks like a Toyota.

  20. Amayer says:

    BMW is really going downhill with their design language lately…

    Well if they are trying to go with this design, at least try to design the wing mirrors correctly rather than scavenging it from older cars…

    Those wing mirrors are awful on this car…

  21. Marcel Lukačić-Marca says:

    Such a shame it looks like a Fiat 124 Spyder, because interior is looks very pretty and well built. 2 days ago I saw a 2nd gen Z4. It’s so attractive, elegant and sleek, everything that I expect from a sporty BMW roadster. This new one looks like a Fiat 124 Spyder witha BMW badge on it. It’s a shame because 8 series is the prettiest BMW in a very long time, on the inside and outside, X5 also looks damn good, and 3 Series will be no exception. I’m disappointed BMW, try harder.

    • disqus_gMkqrHMwOa says:

      Fiat is rebodied Mazda, neither have over 300 hp. Z4 headlights wrap around from grille to wheel well, Fiat are literally flat by comparison. Z4 looks (& will perform) more like small Viper than Miata124. You saw a 2nd. gen Z4. You haven’t seen this. Good luck bmwblog!

  22. BR911 says:

    The car seems to be okay from the sides and back, but they really lost the power and presence of the front fascia that the Z4 Concept had. I really don’t like the hood line and the smaller lights that reminds me of the Fiat Spider. The Concept nailed these and the front M-bumper design, but all of that got lost with this production model, imo. Sad, but I guess it is what it is. Maybe I’ll take a look at it in real life and change my mind…

  23. Cheslyn Owen says:

    The car looks amazing. The front can improve somewhat. But that can easily be made to look more aggressive like the concept bumper design with future updates. Maybe bigger wheels, bigger brakes, bigger engine and a hump/dome on the hood. The car is absolutely stunning and I like it. Its a winner from BMW. It has an S2000 side profile look about it and I like it.

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