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CAR #2020-BMW-Z4-M40i-G29 / #BMW-Z4-M40i-G29 / #BMW-Z4-M40i / #BMW-Z4 / #BMW
£49,050 OTR/£51,985 as tested/£591pcm
WHY IT’S HERE
Can Supra DNA lift BMW’s sports car from the Boxster’s shadow?
It’s difficult to talk to anyone about the #BMW-Z4-G29 without the Toyota-Supra-A90 soon crowbarring its way into the conversation. The debate about whether the two should share parts so flagrantly is raging, of course, not least between two of TG telly’s own. I’m with the dating show host rather than the racing driver, though. A sentence I never thought I’d type. Sharing engines, gearboxes and electronics is far and away the easiest way to cut costs and enlarge profit margins. Doing so has enabled both BMW and Toyota to launch some very accomplished sports cars at a time when the market and its increasingly tight emissions regs might suggest such things are unwise. I suspect having the Supra to worry about as an in-house rival made the German engineers up their game, too, as I can’t remember any of the Z4’s predecessors driving this keenly. Few cars’ aggression ramps up so tangibly through their Sport modes.
That parts sharing also came in handy for my first go in the Supra, which jammily took place on the full layout of Circuit de la Sarthe, shortly before the Le Mans 24 Hour grid rolled out for its warm-up laps. Hopping in a car whose dynamics I’m familiar with by proxy was exceedingly welcome, then, and moments after prodding the starter button I was hitting an indicated 158mph down the Mulsanne Straight amid five of the better minutes in my life.
The Supra’s not the only car to share vital organs with the BMW, though, and I’ve also tried the new Morgan Plus Six this month. A stonking 500kg lighter than the Z4 and with none of its electronic safety nets, it’s a loud, boisterous, intoxicating thing to drive. Anyone thinking Toyota went soft by borrowing a BMW engine needs to try it in a British lightweight with all the nannies removed. Paddy’s right. Parts sharing really isn’t so evil.
Engine 2998cc, 6cyl turbo, RWD
Max power 335bhp
Max torque 369lb ft
0–62mph in 4.6secs
Max speed 155mph
33.2mpg, 165g/km CO2
+ GOOD STUFF
A warm fuzzy feeling from seeing ‘my’ car on primetime Sunday night telly
- BAD STUFF
I’ve had my head turned by a much wilder Morgan with the same powertrain
MILEAGE: 7650 OUR MPG: 34.0
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