Road Test Review – 2024 BMW Z4 M40i – Dropping The Top On Fun and Style

All sports cars come with fundamental DNA that makes them enjoyable to drive while also being stylish and reasonably comfortable at the same time. The 2024 BMW Z4 aims to bring these fundamentals into a package that’s upscale and luxurious but without sacrificing some of the dynamics that have made the model special over the years. The 2024 models aim to continue this but has it lost some of the sharpness that has defined it over the years?


Sinister Purple Adds Character to M Sport Lines

When our tester arrived at the office, one of the things that made it distinctive was its wild Thunderight Metallic paintwork. Essentially a fancy coat of purple paint, this optional color helps distract from the Z4’s clumsy front-end styling including its cartoonishly large twin-kidney grilles. The side profile is this roadster’s better angle anyway and it allows observers to fully appreciate the classic long hood and short rear deck profile that has defined the sports car genre for decades. Fold down the top and the Z4’s style factor goes up further

The rear end also gets stylish LED taillights and a folding soft top that tucks neatly away into the boot. Go for an M40i model like our example and you get bigger wheels, blacked-out accents, and plenty of M badging. While the Z4 is the less serious version of the Toyota Supra, the styling still gives it a sinister, purposeful edge and that’s a welcome sight in an era where some of its rivals have gone soft (we’re looking at you Porsche 718 Boxster.)


Comfortable Z4 Interior Lacks Storage, But Packs Comfort

Slip inside the BMW Z4 and you’ll find an interior that’s not only comfortable but also segment-leading with the cabin featuring high-quality materials, an excellent control layout, and front seats that strike the right balance between comfort and support. Contrary to what its seemingly cramped quarters might suggest, there’s plenty of room to stretch out with occupants over 6 ft tall having decent amounts of legroom to work with. The interior’s strong focus on comfort does come at a cost with the cabin not having too much storage for passengers to work with. At least BMW was kind enough to throw in some storage bins as well as a decently-sized trunk.

But while the lack of room for your things can be annoying at times, we’re impressed with how quiet the interior is when the top is folded down with the Z4 throwing in a standard wind blocker which helps further in silencing the interior. All Z4’s get a 10.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system standard that comes with Apple CarPlay but no Android Auto is an interesting omission in a world where both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto have often been paired together.

Z4 Performance Has Supra Underpinnings

The 2024 BMW Z4 was made as part of a partnership with Japanese auto giant Toyota and as such, the performance hardware will be very familiar to those that have spent time behind the wheel of the Toyota Supra. The base Z4 gets a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that makes 255-hp. This engine is supposed to be the most fuel-efficient one and our prior experience with it in a Supra revealed that it also has decent performance chops.

Our tester arrived with the more powerful 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six that makes 382 horsepower. An eight-speed automatic is standard but buyers can swap it out for a six-speed manual. However, the manual costs extra and the high cost might cause some to pass on it. As for the eight-speed, it did a good job delivering smooth shifts and living up to BMW tradition it’s also one of the best automatics on the market today. The M40i is not a full-blown M car and while the performance upgrades that it has are not as spicy as what you see in a M3, they still make a difference. All M40i models get enhanced bracing and special programming for the adaptive suspension that allows it to handle high-speed cornering better while also eliminating the slop that can occasionally be seen in some roadsters.

The firm tune does result in the Z4 feeling bouncy in rougher sections of pavement but the default comfort mode does help drown it out to an extent. Steering and braking are also superb and while the Z4 is not as polished as the 718 Boxster, it’s still a fun thrill machine when allowed to deliver the goods on its own terms.


Value Quotient

Pricing for the 2024 BMW Z4 is very reflective of its place in the segment with a base model starting at $66,450. Our tester arrived with a long rap sheet of options that raised the price to an as-tested sticker of $72,145. That’s on par with the segment, but when you look at it alongside its Toyota-badged sibling, the math just doesn’t add up.

The Z4 in this configuration is much more expensive than a comparable Supra and while the Toyota doesn’t have the ability to fold its roof up or down (except for one concept), you get roughly the same performance experience as the BMW with the acceleration, handling, and braking characteristics all mirroring its Toyota counterpart.

But if you’re willing to embrace some of these quirks, the 2024 BMW Z4 M40i will reward you with world-class performance and the ability to catch some sun too when you go down your favorite pacific coast freeway.

Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as

Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.

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