Video: Autocar Drives the Brand New BMW Z4 M40i

BMW Z4, Videos | November 7th, 2018 by 15
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The BMW Z4 has been unveiled a while back and in the meantime, BMW invited a few journalists from around the world to Portugal, to …

The BMW Z4 has been unveiled a while back and in the meantime, BMW invited a few journalists from around the world to Portugal, to test the new drop top. We shared our thoughts about the car earlier today and the people over at Autocar did the same, but in a different format – The UK-based magazine deciding on filming their first encounter with the new model. However, their review definitely doesn’t do the Z4 any favors.

The new Z4 is the first car BMW developed in collaboration with Toyota and quite a surprising choice too, considering the partnership between the two car companies was more likely to bring out  a hybrid of sorts. Nevertheless, if this means we get a small roadster alongside the revival of the Toyota Supra, so be it, we’ll gladly take them both. Considering the thirst customers have for big SUVs, the Z4 is a low-margin product but a good one nonetheless.

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The guys from Autocar did find a couple of faults with it. First of all, they say that the car lacks the agility the previous models had. While the new Z4 M40i is a bit heavier than the outgoing E89 sDrive35is model, it does come with a wider track, shorter wheelbase and lower center of gravity, all of them things that should help the drop top be more confidence-inspiring on the road. And the car does drive well around the bends, as it has balance, grip and just enough body roll to make you smile.

However, the new Z4 feels in its best element when cruising around at around 7/10 rather than being pushed hard through bends. It seems like it wasn’t developed from the ground up to beat a Porsche, the Boxster being the one obvious choice everyone’s going to compare it to. Is it better to drive than the Boxster? We’ll let you find out what Autocar had to say, in the video below.

15 responses to “Video: Autocar Drives the Brand New BMW Z4 M40i”

  1. Tom says:

    That’s a bit disappointing to read. Maybe a M-sport version will improve the driving dynamics to match closer to the Boxster.

    • disqus_nqJ83GC5vg says:

      Who compares front-engine to mid-? I’ll take BMW turbo I6 over VAG 4 cyl. any day. Plus I can tell @ 1st sight Z4 is new, not so much any Porsche.

  2. danielzain says:

    The Z4 seems to be splitting opinions. Car & Driver (, Automobile Magazine ( and ( all think highly of it, whereas the most of the UK testers feel it should be closer to the 718 Boxster in feel.

    I think BMW tuned the Z4 to meet a broader range of potential buyers in the small roadster market. It is definitely athletic in a way the previous gen Z4 isn’t while offering more standard equipment than the Boxster while getting close enough in athleticism. Time will tell if this will be a successful formula.

  3. Arunabh says:

    A mixed review, overall. One more case of BMW boasting more about the qualities of the cars in the words and actually under delivering in real. This car shouldn’t exist, for all the practical purposes, in today’s world. But, BMW took a bold decision to go ahead with it. Thing is that if they took such bold decision then they should have went all out to come up with an outright driver’s car (let alone the sports car tag). That would have increased the appeal of the car significantly. Instead, they again went soft while delivering the product. Now, i fear that Toyota may end up delivering better BMW than BMW.

    PS – Almost all the reviews state one common thing: Design of the car is not a highlight about it. So that adds one more BMW to an already long list of design duds.

    • Horatiu B. says:

      The car was planned many years ago, so I guess no choice but to launch it now. If the project would have started today, no chance.

      • Arunabh says:

        Yep. All the money would have been put on ‘alternate propulsion development. I personally think that Z4 can still remain in existence but under the EV umbrella. Its just a wishful thinking, though. :)

        • disqus_nqJ83GC5vg says:

          Wishful typing.

          • Arunabh says:

            O hi mate. Back from Coma?

          • disqus_nqJ83GC5vg says:

            While your blindness & head injury are worse than ever.

          • Arunabh says:

            yep, you are well and truly back. I have already applied mosquito repellent all over.

          • disqus_nqJ83GC5vg says:

            Which still doesn’t make a 4 Star review “mixed”, nor you a qualified observer of anything automotive, driver’s license>keyboard jockey.

          • Arunabh says:

            AC UK –

            ‘As with so many BMWs, it takes familiarity and effort to find an Individual-mode combination of powertrain, suspension and steering settings that is to your liking. Even when you’ve found it, you won’t find a car that’ll entertain quite as well as the very best £50,000 driver’s cars.’

            ‘It’s still not quite representative of BMW at its very best, but it’s certainly a car that’s getting warmer, better and generally nearer the mark as a driver’s car, by the generation.’

            To be honest, i found AC UK’s 4 star rating to be pretty generous after these 2 statements.

      • disqus_nqJ83GC5vg says:

        Automobile Magazine gives it a rave, says it is unique in the marketplace. For this drive train & engineering I don’t care what it looks like, but fortunately it’s gorgeous.

    • disqus_nqJ83GC5vg says:

      Since when did 4 Stars become a mixed review?

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