1. Third time’s the charm?
Mk3 Z4 – on sale next spring – is a rear-drive twoseater that’s new from the ground up, and shares its platform with the imminent Toyota Supra coupe. Here we see the M40i, with most of its 336bhp turbo straight-six sited behind the front axle for 50:50 weight distribution.
2. No hardtop?
No, just a softtop that folds up or down in 10sec at up to 31mph. It’s claimed to be lighter and quieter than the previous Z4’s folding hardtop.
The lid doesn’t encroach on boot space: it’s 265 litres at all times. The cabin has a head-up display that marks a roadster-first for BMW.
3. Is it quick?
Expect 0-62mph in 4.6 seconds for the M40i, and handling aimed at scalping the 718 Boxster. We’re told it’ll lap BMW’s test track quicker than an M2. The M40i gets an eight-speed auto and electronically controlled locking diferential; only the base four-cylinder 20i will have a manual gearbox.
4. What about a new Z4M?
Don’t bet on it. We’ve been told this Z4 won’t go racing, despite GT success for the previous one, so a highperformance M programme is less likely. Toyota will enter the tintop Supra in the World Endurance Championship instead.