The BMW Z4 doesn’t get the attention it deserves, partially because it has been outshined by its coupe sibling, the mechanically related Toyota Supra. With the 2023 model year, the Munich-based automaker is attempting to make the headlines with its stylish roadster by applying a series of minor cosmetic revisions and installing new optional equipment. This Life Cycle Impulse comes after more than 55,000 units have been sold since the G29 hit the market in 2019.
In the United States, the M Sport Package becomes standard on the Z4 sDrive30i to lend the base model a slightly more aggressive appearance. For the 2023MY, the kidney grille has a new look by incorporating larger honeycombs to give the soft-top convertible a slightly meaner front end. Pictured here is the hotter M40i painted in Thundernight, one of the three new metallic colors available for the Z4 along with Skyscraper Grey and Portimao Blue.
Darker headlights, 19-inch M wheels, M interior upgrades
One option introduced with the 2023 Z4 is a darker look for the headlights by ordering the sporty cabrio with M Shadowline Lights. These can be had with the adaptive LEDs and incorporate dark elements to complement the body’s Extended Shadowline Trim, which is another extra that customers can order. Not available on any other BMW, those 19-inch M lightweight alloy wheels with a V-spoke design and a jet black finish debut with the Z4 and come wrapped around in 255/35 ZR19 front and 275/35 ZR19 rear tires.
As previously reported, the 2023 Z4 sticks with the previous-generation infotainment system as BMW has decided to skip the iDrive 8. The cabin is essentially the same, although the sDrive30i can now be had with the dashboard wrapped in artificial leather (Sensatec). By making the M Sport Package standard, you not only get redesigned bumpers but also a leather-covered M steering wheel, M Sport seats, and upgraded pedals (with footrest) carrying the “most powerful letter in the world.”
The compact roadster produced in Graz, Austria by Magna Steyr soldiers on with the turbocharged four- and six-cylinder engines. BMW will continue to offer an entry-level sDrive20i in Europe (now with standard M Sport Package as well) as a more affordable alternative to the sDrive30i and M40i models, which are the only ones available in the US. The Z4 is scheduled to go on sale globally in November and will cost $52,800 for the sDrive30i and $65,300 for the M Performance model, plus $995 destination charges for both.
No Z4 M40i With Manual Gearbox (Yet)
If there is one glaring emission worth pointing out, it would have to be the lack of information about the availability of a six-speed manual gearbox for the Z4 M40i. As it stands, BMW isn’t saying anything about putting a clutch pedal and a stick shift inside the most potent version. However, our sources have told us a 6MT is in the offing and will be introduced later in 2023.
As a refresher, Toyota is now selling the Supra with the bigger engine combined with 6MT. In addition, BMW’s regional website for The Netherlands let the cat out of the bag in late August when it showed a manual gearbox in the Z4 M40i’s configurator. It’s too soon to say whether the company intends to make the manual available globally or only certain markets will have an alternative to the eight-speed automatic.