After my trip to Canada to attend BMW’s M Festival, I had the chance to drive the BMW Z4 M40i on an autocross course. That marked my second time behind the wheel of the new Z4 and meant that I’ve now driven both variants coming to the U.S.; the Z4 M40i and sDrive30i. After driving both, and having some time to think about them, I think it’s a mistake for the M Division to not make a proper BMW Z4 M.
The current BMW Z4, co-developed with the Toyota Supra, is a surprisingly great car to drive. It’s not the soft, tame cruiser than its predecessor was. Not at all. In fact, the new BMW Z4 is remarkably capable and shockingly fun to drive. Its steering is precise, its suspension is composed and its chassis is possibly the most rigid convertible chassis I’ve ever driven. So it’s a sharp little car to drive and more fun than many M cars.
What’s interesting is that it has the potential to be even better. Despite being a blast to drive, there’s some intentional slack built into BMW’s latest roadster. We know this because its mechanical twin, the Toyota Supra, is actually a bit sharper to drive despite being based on the same chassis. BMW likely makes the Z4 M40i a bit softer, a bit more approachable on purpose to make it a bit more of a refined sports car convertible than proper weapon.
However, what if BMW M took the kids gloves off the Z4? What if the BMW Z4 got a proper M Division makeover, with sharper steering, more capable suspension and even more power? I’m envisioning a more aggressive BMW Z4 M with the brand’s new S58 engine under hood, making around 480 hp, big brakes and sticky tires. That would be a hilariously good car to drive, especially with the top down.
This is my just opinion, of course. BMW won’t actually make a Z4 M because market demand, cost and blah, blah, blah. BMW is doing what’s smart but when the hell is doing the smart thing any fun? Give is a rip-snorting, tire-smoking, top-down BMW Z4 M, please.