Two-seat roadsters deliver a lofty payload: Salvation from humdrum road boredom. The 2020 BMW Z4 convertible fits the spiritual bill with a pair of turbocharged inline engines and road-hugging handling. It begs to be driven simply for the joy of driving.
With the top down in the new M40i version, that simple joy becomes an extended thrill. The active damping and tighter chassis makes the Z4 track-capable but it’s more at home as an everyday driver to flee town, drop the top, and just go.
We give the 2020 Z4 a 6.4 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
Back after a brief hiatus since 2016, the BMW Z4 roadster has a coupe twin, the 2020 Toyota Supra, which we review separately.
The base Z4 sDrive30i taps a 2.0-liter turbo-4 for 255 horsepower. The Z4 M40i draws on a potent 3.0-liter turbo-6 that makes 382 hp. Both come with an 8-speed automatic only. The sDrive30i hits 60 mph in 5.2 seconds and starts at $50,695. For more performance and a 0-60 mph time of 3.9 seconds, the M40i costs $64,695, without options..
The longer, wider, taller Z4 has a shorter wheelbase and 50:50 weight distribution, all of which make it highly maneuverable even at higher speeds. A double wishbone suspension up front and multi-link independent suspension in back with available active dampers allow for tighter, precision handling on the track or on twisties, while comfort mode softens the ride while schlepping around town or cruising on the open highway. The black soft top opens and closes in about 10 seconds at speeds up to 31 mph. It is quiet with the top up on the highway.