BMW Z4 sDrive30i Review

Convertibles and roadsters still have life in them yet – you all have to go tell BMW

This BMW exists thanks to Toyota. Yep! BMW has had the Z1, the Z3 and even the Z8. Then they replaced the Z3 with the Z4, which subsequently got a successor. Soon though, the Munich massive lost interest and were looking to send the Zs to sleep permanently – ‘nobody buys roadsters anymore’ came the edict from the bean-counter department.

Suddenly the phone rang – it was Toyota: ‘we want to bring back the Supra, like we did the 86. And we want to cheat again – you up for a bit of collab?’

So the Toyota Supra is really a coupe-bodied Z4, and as a result we have a third generation Z4. The new Beemer is a little slinkier and cleverer. Plus it only comes as a convertible, while the Supra is only available as a coupe.

As tested in sDrive30i guise it has a 2.0 four-cylinder putting out 258bhp good for 0-62mph acceleration in 5.4 seconds – yours for £42k. You can get a 197bhp version for £38k, and a sweet 3.0 straight six with 340bhp for £50k.

Even as an sDrive30i it’s a quick car and keeps a wheel in each of four different camps: sportscar,  tourer, poseur and sex symbol –that elongated bulging bonnet is symbolic of more than just styling potency you know. It’s cool too, if not as headline-grabbing as the Supra.

And here’s a surprise – as roadsters go, it’s rather practical. The canvas roof panel sits in its own little cavity and leaves not only a through-way into the cabin from the boot – presumably to encourage top-down touring to your favourite ski resort – but a decent sized cargo area for a pair of overnight cases too.

It’s comfortable as well. Great seats, fast heating (yes even with the roof down), quick-acting soft-top that you can operate on the move and gadgets galore – if you’ve ticked all the option boxes of course.

Get going and the Z4 is multi-faceted on the move too. It will efficiently glide up and down motorways, cruise to your beach-front property, and slickly slip about the city. Find some twisty roads and its rigid structure and low-slung ride, planted attitude and determined poise reaffirm its delight at attacking the twisties with relish.

It stops short of going full hard-core but sufficiently impersonates a sportscar to keep most drivers satiated. Of course, once you’re done you can swan up to five-star joints with class.

The BMW Z4 is not cheap, but then the new Supra isn’t either, not really. But while the Supra is at its core a street racer, the Z4 is a Jack of almost all trades. So better value, that blue and white propeller on the bonnet and you can put the roof down. What’s not to like?

Buy more roadsters people and prove the bean-counters wrong!

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