2020 BMW Z4 | REVIEWED
The BMW Z4 is the perfect reason why sports are still a relevant part of the car market in 2020.
In 2020 it is clear the consumer has very different demands from their car as to what they did 10 or more years ago. Gone are the days of the average petrolhead having a 'weekend' or 'fun' car, but instead people generally expect their car to be able to do a bit of everything. Whether that be commuting to work, hauling the family around or being the B-Road weapon - it is an expectation one car should be able to deliver on all those areas, and let's be honest we are blessed with that actually being a reality. However there really is something special about a nice little sports car like this BMW Z4 20i. What I love about this particular car is that it almost harks back to better times, where cars were not about out and out performance necessarily, but just being enjoyable to drive. The 20i variant is the entry model to the Z4 range starting at just under £40K in the UK, so yes it isn't cheap, but read on and you'll see just why it's worth it.
Featuring the well known and trusted 2.0L B48 engine, power is rated at 197hp, with torque coming in at 236ft-lbs. With this variant of the Z4 weighing around 1,430KG it is not the quickest car you will come across by any means. But trust me, this does not matter, even slightly. The chassis of the new Z4 is just an incredible piece of engineering. I should start off by saying it feels as rigid as can be, even with that retractable roof. The sheer mechanical grip that is generated is staggering, with the Z4 wearing Michelin Pilot Super Sports all round with 255 and 275 sections on the front and rear respectively. The front end grip is as much as you could ever need on the road, and it makes the ever-growing model feel so agile to drive - as any sports car should. The steering is sharp and precise with a nice fast rack, making the car very easy to judge and place in the corners. The brake pedal is nice and positive, with a fantastic initial bite from those mighty front and rear calipers. For regular road use, brake fade is non-existent and the whole combination of precise steering, a strong brake pedal and coupled with a firm, but well judged suspension setup, does nothing but instill confidence in the driver. This is a car that you learn to trust and predict incredibly fast, demonstrating above all else, it is a car for the driver.
Of course a downside of virtually every sports car is the compromise on practicality. Fear not however with the G29 Z4 - cabin space is extensive and the boot allows for a substantial amount of luggage. In addition, with that soft top roof up, the Z4 is very quiet with virtually no wind buffeting making it a car you can even relax in on those longer journeys. Featuring BMW's latest interior, it is also truly a luxurious place to be, with high quality materials utilised throughout and accompanied by some very attractive, yet comfortable seats. Drop that roof down however and the experience becomes much more visceral. The burble from the B48 4 cylinder is really rather pleasant, with some nice little pops available in sport plus mode. It is really quite incredible how much noise is on offer from what is now a strangled, PPF ridden exhaust system. Accompanied by a small amount of turbo spool at lower speeds, it makes for a very enjoyable experience for the ears.
So what do we think then? Well getting out in a sports car like the Z4 shows why this sector of the market should not be forgotten. It really does offer something special and above all else is just much more immersive when compared to your average performance car. It reminds you that driving isn't all about sheer power and speed, but rather it's about a capable and predictable machine that works with the driver, not against. For me though, it is just stunning to look at, especially from that side profile. If you're in the market for something like this, the Z4 should be definitely be high up your shortlist.
Thanks to Cooper Teesside BMW for making this review possible. Check them out here:
Please also check out my video review of this car here: