Mere hours after we reported the Z4 LCI will debut before the end of the month, a seemingly official image of the updated roadster has now emerged on social media. Interestingly, the adjacent photo comes courtesy of the BMW Switzerland account on Instagram, which increases the chances of being the real deal. It might’ve been accidentally posted earlier than planned, so don’t be too surprised if it will be taken down sooner rather than later.

It appears we’re looking at the range-topping M40i, which for 2023 will be getting a manual gearbox in some markets, including the United States. If you’re wondering about the color, it seems to be the Thundernight Metallic shade that debuted last year with the latest-generation 2 Series Coupe. Ok, but what makes this the facelifted version and not just a regular Z4 with a fancy paint?

The biggest giveaway is the kidney grille since it has lost the chrome pins in favor of a glossy black finish. In addition, the honeycombs are noticeably larger now to give the soft-top roadster a more aggressive front fascia. It was a similar story earlier this year when BMW introduced the M340i/M340d LCI as the M Performance models also had bigger honeycombs. It’s hard to say whether the grille itself is bigger than before, but it does look more imposing due to its redesigned pattern.

Less obvious are the tweaks made to the front bumper but an eagle-eyed reader will notice the air intakes are different and make generous use of glossy black elements to complement the grille. The headlights look the same, which isn’t all too surprising since new clusters would’ve required a more significant investment. That’s not necessarily a bad thing since they still look modern four years after the G29’s launch.

BMW Switzerland’s social media faux pas strongly suggests an official debut is right around the corner. It is believed the Z4 LCI will be sold until 2025 when the roadster will be dropped altogether, with no replacement in sight.

Source: wilcoblok / Instagram