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Video Test Drive: The 2020 BMW Z4 M40i Gets Wild on the Racetrack With Andy Pilgrim

There is still a place—a big one—in the world for BMW’s venerable roadster.

It might be easy to forget nowadays, but there was a time not long ago when the launch of a new BMW roadster was a huge deal met with a corresponding amount of anticipation and post-launch consideration. From the original Z3 and its appearance as James Bond's then-latest ride in "GoldenEye" to the polarizing styling of the first-gen Z4, BMW's answer to Porsche's Boxster got a lot of attention. But in recent years, as the overall market and BMW's focus shifted, the ragtop seemed to fade somewhat from the head of many an enthusiast's list of talking points. Regardless of the reasons, the 2020 BMW Z4 M40i makes a strong case for moving well back into the discussion.

Just a few months ago, we gave it strong consideration in our field of 2020 Automobile All-Stars. On both racetrack and twisting roads, we found plenty to applaud, especially in this trim. The 2020 BMW Z4 M40i features a 3.0-liter turbocharged I-6 with 382 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque, both of which you are reminded of over and over again by the cracking, popping exhaust note. As Andy Pilgrim notes in this week's episode of Pro Racer's Take, it's an obnoxiously excellent soundtrack, and the car's performance lives up to it.

Even with a relatively hefty weight of 3,457 pounds, we clocked the BMW from 0-60 mph in 4.0 seconds, and in the quarter mile at 12.2 seconds at 116 mph. Those are strong numbers, certainly, but the Z4 has never been simply about posting digits on a spec sheet. Much like the Boxster, the BMW is and should be all about the driving experience, and it delivers in this department as well. As we noted in our All-Stars report, this roadster feels lovely and beautifully finished on the inside, with an appropriately polished driving dynamic to boot. It's a screaming-laugh riot to drift and pitch sideways at every opportunity, with enough compliance and predictability to make doing so attainable for a wide range of drivers, not just professionals like Pilgrim. And its actual lap times are nothing to roll eyes at, either.

The 2020 BMW Z4 M40i is a serious open-top sports car with strong racetrack chops while being a lovely daily driver that urges you to push it to its maximum at every opportunity. So "push" the play button now to find out just how much fun it is, and we'll see you next Tuesday for another installment of Pro Racer's Take. Between now and then, be sure to make a stop at www.proracerstake.com for all previous episodes, onboard videos, and lap times.