From its appearance, you might expect the Z4 to have a sporty character. Well, it does and it doesn’t, depending on which version you go for. Select a more humble specification, and the driving experience is actually surprisingly sedate. The ride is smooth and comfortable, the cabin is pretty well isolated from the wind with the roof down, and things are pretty quiet with it in place though – unlike the previous version
– it has a traditional fabric hood rather than a folding metal hardtop.
It does a good job on twisty roads, too, with lots of grip, decent body control and direct steering, but it’s also true that you don’t get the same level of agility and involvement as you do with comparable cars, be that the Mazda MX-5
at the lower end or Porsche 718 Boxster
at the other.
M Sport cars can be upgraded with the M Sport Plus package, which brings with it an adaptive suspension (allowing the Z4 to be more comfortable or more sporting at the touch of a button), bigger brakes for the sDrive20i model and a sophisticated electronically-controlled rear differential for the sDrive30i. All of these items are standard on the Z4 M40i and they transform the Z4 from being a comfortable cruiser into a truly engaging sports car.