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BMW Z4 M40i Road Test Review

That’s not what the BMW Z4 is for. The driver appeal lies in its styling and in its spirited driving dynamics. It is a BMW sports car and, at Rs 78.9 lakh plus tax, it is meant to take on little behemoths such as the Porsche 718 Boxster and Mercedes-AMG SLC head-on and keep the punches rolling. Yet, that’s not exactly how it goes about its business. Where the Boxster’s excitement is turned up to Spring Break levels, the Z4 is more curtains-drawn and candle-light in Comfort, and a frivolous romp in Sport. It can do both, but it has a different air about itself.

BMW Z4 M40i Road Test Review

The heart of the matter is the signature BMW straight-six petrol engine, TwinPower Turbo’d to produce 340 hp and 500 Nm ― up 34 hp and 50 Nm on the sDrive 35i we drove over five years ago. The new eight-speed automatic transmission drives the rear axle and the squat under acceleration makes it rather prominent. It zoomed effortless from zero to 100 km/h in five seconds, and maintained steam closing in towards its top speed. The rear, once hooked in, is astoundingly reassuring and the beautifully weighted steering complements that just as well as it should. There isn’t a bulky planted feel, it’s 1,535 kg is evident.

BMW Z4 M40i Road Test Review

The suspension is stiffer in Sport, as compared to Comfort modes, and the steering feel is a bit heavier with more turn-in response, but, here, when you’re basically in drag, it lets its tail-happy nature slip, but only enough for the traction control to tighten its hold on the leash. That capability is augmented by the progressive brakes and adaptive damped suspension which makes carving corners and attacking hair-pins confident fun. The power delivery is instant, yet the motor’s revs aren’t used unnecessarily. The gearbox does a fine job of keeping the motor on the boil for a more-than-adequate response in any gear at any speed in any drive mode.

While we’re at it, Eco Pro does a fine job by throttling the power to just above acceptable levels for its nature, dulling the need to rev, but also doing a stellar job with the efficiency, with a highway figure of around 12 km/l registering in the tests. About half of that is what city traffic brings the number down to.

BMW Z4 M40i Road Test Review

There is no shortage of driver aids and, while in traffic, the ones with the most engagement are the blind-spot alert, lane-departure alert, and collision warning, in that order. The larger head-up display is a huge bonus and informs of everything from audio track, phone caller ID as well as the necessary navigation info. Through the course of the day, the BMW Z4 saw highway, private roads, city roads, and broken B-roads with abysmal surface conditions. Only the high speed-humps need undivided attention, but the rest is taken in stride. The capability of the car is commendable and while it is indeed intended to be the ultimate driving machine aimed at providing sheer driving pleasure, it does have a lot more going for it and it shows. It’s more liveable with than what I first imagined it to be and, while the excitement to entice teenagers with freshly issued driving licences is undeniably present, its appeal for those looking for a more mature car that doesn’t shy away from blistering speeds is unequivocally communicated.

BMW Z4 M40i Road Test Review

Need to Know – BMW Z4 M40i

Price: Rs 78.90 lakh (ex-showroom)

Engine: 2,998 cc, 24V DOHC in-line six, turbo-petrol
Max Power: 340 hp @ 5,000-6,500 rpm
Max Torque: 500 Nm @ 1,600-4,500 rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed, automatic, rear-wheel drive
Suspension: Double wishbone front, multi-link rear
Weight: 1,535 kg

Performance:
Power-to-weight: 221.50 PS/tonne
Acceleration (0-100 km/h): 5.02 s
Braking (100 km/h-0): 2.88 s, 37.10 m
Efficiency: 6.5 km/l city, 12.0 km/l highway, 7.9 km/l overall (75% city and 25% highway)

 

About the author: Jim Gorde

 

Automotive Correspondent at Bike India and Car India.
Believes that learning never stops. Loves V8 engines as much as a good breakfast.
t: @BikeIndia / @CarIndia

 

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