6,446 – that’s how many Z4s BMW delivered in the first half of 2023. It was nearly at the bottom of the sales rankings, with only the XM and i3 being sold in fewer examples during the first six months of the year. Although the stylish roadster is among the least popular models to have the roundel, it’s not because of the car itself. Generally, people are moving away from coupes and convertibles and hopping inside something more practical, primarily crossovers and SUVs.
Even if the sales numbers don’t show it, the Z4 is one of the most fun-to-drive BMWs out there, especially in this potent M40i guise. A new video shot in Germany shows the sporty cabrio being driven at full tilt on an unrestricted section of the Autobahn. The M Performance convertible isn’t built for outright speed as its potential is better exploited on a twisty road but even this not-quite-M Z4 delivers thrilling acceleration.
In the age of gasoline particulate filters and other emission-reducing devices that hamper an engine’s soundtrack, the Z4 M40i sounds great for a car sold in the European Union. The 3.0-liter unit comes exclusively with an eight-speed automatic transmission but we’re still keeping hope alive that a six-speed manual will be offered. The mechanically related Toyota Supra got a stick shift using BMW/ZF bits, so it shouldn’t be much of an issue to put a clutch pedal in the six-cylinder Z4.
Styling-wise, we’d reckon the Z4 still looks fresh even though last year’s Life Cycle Impulse brought borderline imperceptible visual changes. BMW also didn’t bother to install iDrive 8, which some would argue is for the better as the screens atop the dashboard are not to everyone’s liking. This M40i has probably the most eye-catching color, called Thundernight Metallic, a new paint introduced with the LCI alongside Skyscraper Grey and Portimao Blue.
The G29 generation is rumored to bow out in March 2026 when production is expected to end at Magna Steyr’s factory in Graz, Austria. From what we’ve heard, a direct replacement is sadly not planned.
Source: AutoTopNL / YouTube