As most BMW fans, we were a bit disappointed when we learned the all-new Z4 M40i would carry an MSRP of $64,695 — plus the $995 destination charge.
However, not everything is as bad as it seems. We say that because the price of the entry-level variant got leaked earlier this month and it’s about $15k cheaper. We’re talking about the 2019 BMW Z4 sDrive30i, which starts from $49,700, excluding $995 destination and handling. That means you can get an all-new Z4 for a little over 50 grand.
For comparison’s sake, the more dated and slightly less powerful (241 hp) rival from Mercedes-Benz, the 2019 SLC 300 Roadster, starts at $48,950, excluding destination. As for the 2019 Porsche 718 Boxster, it starts at $59,000 (excluding $1,050 destination). In fairness, with the Porsche, you do get more power (300 hp) and the nimble handling of a mid-engined car.
The Z4 sDrive30i is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that makes 255 horsepower between 5,000 and 6,500 rpm and 295 lb-ft (400 Nm) of torque from 1,550 to 4,400 rpm. Linked to a standard eight-speed Steptronic automatic transmission that drives the rear wheels, the engine enables the Z4 sDrive30i to sprint from 0 to 60 mph (0-96 km/h) in 5.2 seconds — thanks in part to a standard Launch Control system. The top speed is 155 mph (250 km/h).
The 2019 BMW Z4 sDrive30i comes as standard with the Sport Line trim level in the United States and offers goodies such as 18-inch V-spoke orbit grey wheels and satin aluminum exterior trim. Standard features also include LED headlights, multifunction sports steering wheel, M Sport seats, Dynamic Cruise Control, and the Live Cockpit Professional instrument cluster, among other things.
As with any BMW, the list of optional features is quite long. We’d consider stuff like the M Sport package, Track Handling package (it comes with M Sport brakes, M Sport differential, and the Adaptive M suspension), Driving Assistance Package, as well as Vernasca leather upholstery. U.S. deliveries start in March 2019 for the sDrive30i, with the M40i variant to follow later.
Note: European-spec BMW Z4 M40i pictured