And it's not too bad for a premium roadster.
Earlier this month, leaked documents revealed pricing for the most powerful BMW Z4 variant, the M40i. Starting at $64,695 plus a $995 destination charge, the Z4 M40i is powered by a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six producing 382 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque going out through an eight-speed automatic. Compared to the Porsche Boxster S, the Z4 is around $6,000 cheaper and 32 hp more powerful.
The Z4 may be less expensive than the Boxster S but it still isn't what we'd call affordable. Luckily, BMW will also offer a less powerful version of the Z4 called the sDrive30i and we finally know how much it will cost in the United States.
The entry-level Z4 sDrive30i starts at $49,700 plus a $995 handling and destination charge, bringing the total price up to $50,595. For around $14,000 less than the M40i, the sDrive30i is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder producing 255 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque also going out through an eight-speed automatic. Perhaps not by accident, this is around the same MSRP as the 2016 Z4 sDrive28i, which was down 15 hp compared to the new car.
It is impressive to see BMW offering more power and performance for the same base MSRP, though the old Z4 did have a six-speed manual option whereas the new one is automatic-only. Manual lovers will bemoan the lack of a third petal but the new car's launch control system can rocket the car up to 60 mph in just 5.2 seconds.
Even a base Z4 comes with plenty of standard features including LED headlights, BMW's Live Cockpit Professional instrument panel, multifunction steering wheel, M Sport seats, and adaptive cruise control. An optional Track Package adds standard features from the M40i including adaptive dampers, a limited-slip differential, and M Sport brakes.
Compared to its rivals, the Z4 sDrive30i is around $9,500 less than the base Porsche Boxster but is a few hundred dollars more than the Audi TT and Mercedes SLC 300. The Z4 is newer and more powerful than both the Audi and the Mercedes, so we say it should be a strong competitor in this segment.