How do you like getting the short end of the BMW-stick?
Hearing about a hot new European car that will only be sold in some "dumbed down" version in North America is nothing new. Take the E36 generation BMW M3 for example. Europe's 3.0-liter S50 inline-six engine had a more advanced VANOS system and individual throttle bodies, so it produced 285 horsepower, which was later upped to 3.2-liters with 321 hp.
Meanwhile, the US-spec M3 was hampered with a lesser version of this engine producing just 240 hp. So why are we bringing up something that happened over two decades ago? Well, the US is finally about to have its revenge.
BMW recently revealed the power figures for the 2019 Z4 in sDrive30i and M40i trims. The sDrive30i produces 255 hp from a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, while the M40i produces 382 hp from a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six. That is, unless you live in Europe.
Recently, Europe has switched over to a new, stricter, testing procedure for emissions called the Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP). As a result, companies like Volkswagen have been forced to lower the power output of cars like the Golf R to meet the restrictions.
And because of these strict guidelines, the European Z4 M40i will only produce 342 hp, 40 less than the US car.
With less power on tap, the European Z4 will be slower to 60 mph (4.4 seconds compared to 4.2). We aren't sure exactly what changes BMW has made to the B58 engine to meet the WLTP rules, but it may be possible to tune the car on the aftermarket to gain back the lost horsepower.
Of course, the legality of doing so may differ from country to country, and we aren't sure if any of the engine internals have been changed in order to make the engine pollute less. Either way, the US has finally scored a win over Europe with a more powerful Z4.