With all of the attention focused towards the fact that the all-new Toyota Supra is getting the same engine as the 2020 BMW Z4, the anticipation was high to see how the Z4 compares to the Supra. While the Toyota Supra is set to produce 335 horsepower, the BMW Z4 is set to beat that – by a lot. The 2020 BMW Z4 M40i Roadster is coming soon, and it is full of surprises.
Text by Bassem Girgis // Photos by BMW of North America, LLCDSPORT Issue #206
After going through an extensive amount of testing, the 2020 BMW Z4 is expected to be lighter, more rigid, more powerful, and always track ready. Aside from an athletic exterior, the Z4 is 3.3-inches longer, 2.9-inches wider, and 0.5-inches taller than the previous model. The wheelbase has been shortened by 1.0-inch. This all made for a perfect 50:50 weight distribution. The all-new Z4 will come equipped with two engine options: a new four-cylinder engine and a BMW M Performance straight-six engine.
The small engine option is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder TwinPower turbocharged engine, with 15 horsepower and 35 lb-ft of torque more than the previous four-cylinder. This engine features a High Precision Injection system. The small displacement heart delivers 255 horsepower between 5,000 RPM and 6,500 RPM, and 295 lb-ft of torque from 1,550 RPM to 4,400 RPM. This power sends the Z4 to the 60 MPH mark in just 5.2-seconds.
The more exciting option is the BMW M Performance inline-six engine. It’s a 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine, which delivers 382 horsepower between 5,000 RPM and 6,500 RPM, and 369 lb-ft of torque from 1,600 RPM to 4,500 RPM. The six-cylinder features a water-cooled exhaust manifold integrated into the cylinder head and a quick-responding TwinScroll turbocharger with direct injection. This rockets the Z4 from 0-60 MPH in 3.9-seconds. Both engines will feature an eight-speed Steptronic Sport transmission. The transmission offers shorter ratios for the transmission’s lower gears, which improves acceleration and operates more efficiently.
Power is complemented with an agile chassis. With newly-designed double-joint spring strut suspension in the front and a new five-link suspension in the rear, the chassis is well equipped for track conditions without sacrificing ride comfort. The M Performance model features Adaptive M Sport suspension, M Sport brakes, and M Sport differential, which come standard on the BMW Z4 M40i Roadster. This can be added as an option on the Z4 sDrive30i, however, which allows for far better handling under any driving condition. Three driving modes are available in the 2020 BMW Z4: Comfort, Sport, and Sport +. All driving modes make for a noticeable changes, as they control the dampers and differential through an electric motor that locks it. The active differential lock reduces understeer and oversteer, making corner exits extremely efficient and quick.
Driving the all-new BMW Z4 is made fun with the 12.3-inch digital high-resolution instrument cluster behind the steering wheel and the 10.25-inch center display. Inside the center display is the Navigation Professional system. This is a hard-drive based multimedia system with 20GB of memory and two USB ports, as well as Apple CarPlay. Toyota collaborated with BMW when developing their all-new Supra. However, it seems like BMW has found a way to exceed the power level of the Supra by a significant amount. If the price points are close enough, this could present a serious problem for the Supra in terms of sales.