2020 Z4 New Car Test Drive
Revived for the 2019 model year, along with the closely related Toyota Supra coupe-also revived-the 2020 BMW Z4 resulted from a partnership between BMW and Toyota. Stylish inside and out, the two-seat roadster is the kind of car that yearns to be driven, just for the joy of it.
A more potent M40i edition has joined the initial 30i roadster for the 2020 model year. Otherwise, the sixth-generation Z4 is unchanged.
Buyers may choose either of two turbocharged engines. In addition to stimulating performance, the Z4 excels in road-hugging capabilities. The original Z4 debuted as a 2003 model, superseding the Z3 roadster, but was dropped after the 2016 model year.
In the base Z4 sDrive30i, a 2.0-liter turbo-4 makes 255 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque, peaking between 1,550 and 4,400 rpm. The Z4 M40i steps up to a potent 3.0-liter turbo-6 that develops 382 horsepower and 369 pound-feet. Both engines mate with an 8-speed automatic transmission that sends power to the rear wheels.
Mini-size paddle shifters serve as an ideal match for the quick-shifting transmission. Whether it's powered by the turbo-4 or turbo-6, the Z4 delivers performance, as either a peppy highway cruiser or a thrill machine with enough vigor and agility to be track-driven.
The M40i rides on an Adaptive M Sport suspension. Softening the experience while cruising, the adaptive suspension tightens at speed for tauter control. An electronic-locking differential in the M40i delivers the best traction possible.
Neither the NHTSA nor the IIHS has crash-tested the Z4, nor are they likely to do so. Standard active-safety features include low-speed automatic emergency braking, city collision mitigation, and lane-departure warnings. Advanced safety and convenience features such as adaptive cruise control cost extra. LED headlights are standard.
Prices include $995 destination charge.
The sDrive30i Roadster ($50,695) has rear-wheel drive and comes with the turbo-4 engine, synthetic leather upholstery, 14-way power seats, automatic climate control, black interior trim, a 10.25-inch touchscreen, a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, Apple CarPlay compatibility, and 18-inch wheels.
The M40i Roadster ($64,695) substitutes a turbo-6 engine for the turbo-4 and adds variable sport steering, along with the M Sport adaptive suspension.