Just the other day, BMW made us smile as it remains committed to offering a manual gearbox on its performance models for the time being.
Today is a new day, however, and that means it's a new chance for BMW to let us down. The automaker is achieving that goal with news that the redesigned BMW Z4 will not receive a dedicated M version.
Remember the last BMW Z4 M? It was a delightful sports car that packed M3 power under its hood. The S54 inline-6 was bolted between the fenders and delivered 330 horsepower to the rear wheels. The automaker also ditched the electric power steering for a proper hydraulic setup and reworked the suspension to make the car more eager to play on the curvy stuff.
This is nothing new though, sadly, as BMW has moved on from an M version of the Z4 for some time now. Back in 2009, we lamented the loss of a high-performance variant and today we're doing so again. Still, an upcoming M40i will surely be a hoot to drive...although that doesn't mean there's no more room for even wilder versions at the top.
2006 BMW Z4 M Coupe, Geneva Motor Show
BMW keeps piling on ever intensifying versions of the M2, M3, and M4. You have Competition, CS and CSL versions in the pipeline but such a fate is not in the cards for the Z4. BMW M boss Frank van Meel spoke to Car and Driver and stated, "Let me put it this way: I think the M40i is the perfect positioning regarding performance of that car. It’s quite close to the M2, so we’re really happy with the overall concept of that car being an M40i. If you would go any higher, it would be very, very narrow in customer groups."
In other words, he doesn't want a Z4 M snapping at the heels of the M4 or possibly even the M5 and upcoming M8.
You can make an X3 M but you can't crank out a bunch of Z4 M coupes and roadsters? Come on BMW, give us the real-deal Ultimate Driving Machine that we're craving here!