BMW Z4 M40i Prototype Laps Nurburgring In 7:55, Nine Seconds Slower Than A Cayman S

We’re still a few months away before the new BMW Z4 arrives in the US market but we can take a first taste of its abilities, thanks to the exclusive test of the German Sport Auto, which took a late prototype for a flying lap around the Nurburgring.

With German racing driver Christian Gebhardt sitting behind the wheel, the still camouflaged prototype Z4 M40i was able to lap the iconic track in 7 minutes, 55.41 seconds. That’s quite impressive but still lags behind the Porsche 718 Cayman S, which posted a 7:46.70 with the same driver behind the wheel in 2016.

With that said and given the car’s prototype nature, we think the Z4’s lap time more of an indication than an outright performance figure of the finished series-production roadster. Unfortunately we couldn’t find a lap time of the 718 Boxster S, which is a more direct rival to the Z4, with the same driver.

The new BMW Z4 M40i is powered by a 3.0-liter straight-six engine producing 335hp (340PS) paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission. As a member of the M Performance range, the Z4 M40i also features an M-tuned sports suspension that includes active dampers, bigger brakes and an electronically controlled rear differential.

BMW claims that the range-topping version of the new Z4 is capable of a 0-60mph in 4.4 seconds (0-100km/h in 4.6 seconds).

The Bavarian car maker will reveal all the technical details of the rest of the engine variants on September 19, before bringing the new Z4 for its European premiere at the Paris Auto Show on October 4.


  • txsupra11

    I wonder why they didn’t use the more powerful 382hp US spec?

  • Mill0048

    That seems right. Between Porsche and BMW, I’d expect the Porsche to be the real performer. Also, this may not bode well for the Supra either.

    • Denzel

      Supra might do just fine I don’t think they are trying to take on the GTR at it’s current laptime of 7:08. If you go back to the 90s the supra was the slowest out of the nsx and the skyline. I think it will be closer to when the GTR set the 7:36 mark. Something like 7:36 – 7:40

      • Mill0048

        Agreed, it’s just indicative of what to expect.

  • Philip George

    8-9 secs deficit by the newer Z4 ought to be a slap in BMW’s face, especially when the Porsche set that lap time with a 2016 car. Hopefully, that’s just the prototype’s run and slower than the production’s.

    • SteersUright

      True. Then again, I’d venture they’d argue this is a GT rather than a true sports car, I suppose.

      • Andrewthecarguy

        Agreed, but BMW has been pushin this car upmarket steadily in hopes to take from the Boxster. Problem is, Porsche seems to almost always outperform the Bimmer.
        A previous gen Z4sDrive35is was north of $70k

  • SteersUright

    Engine sounds great inside the car, but it looks like a real handful rather than a smooth operator on the track.

    • Andrewthecarguy

      Hmmm….you’ve never driven on the N’Ring I take it…

  • SteersUright

    Interestingly, the Civic Type R set a lap time of 7:43.8, faster than both the Cayman S and this new BMW Z4. Now thats impressive, especially at about half the price!

  • GobbleUp

    Poor performer and already looks dated.
    Another huge miss.

  • Jack Lyon

    The 718s is $90k I would take this car at 9 seconds slower if it is $65k.

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