It's faster than the M2.

Lapping the Nürburgring in 7:55.41 might not be all that impressive considering the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ did it in 6:44.97, but it’s an important achievement taking into account the BMW Z4 M40i is not a fully fledged M car. Sport Auto’s Christian Gebhardt was behind the wheel of a still camouflaged roadster in the range-topping specification going all out at the Green Hell.

To put that performance into perspective, the new soft-top Z4 turned out to be faster by about three seconds than the M2, a proper M car from BMW’s go-faster division. If the Bavarians will ever change their minds about coming out with a full-on Z4 M, you can rest assured it will shave off a few seconds from the lap time.

Get to know the new Z4:

Let’s keep mind the Z4 is geared towards comfort and luxury rather than being engineered as a hardcore sports car such as the M2 / M2 Competition tailored to track day enthusiasts. Also worth mentioning, the car featured here is the European version with the turbocharged inline-six 3.0-litre engine dialed to 335 bhp. It’s important because the U.S. version will allegedly have considerably more power since it won’t have to comply with Europe’s stricter emissions regulations. According to our friends at BMW Blog, the 2019 U.S.-spec BMW Z40 M40i will pack as much as 382 bhp.

Now that we know how fast the Z4 M40i is at the ‘Ring, we’re eager to find out how the related 2019 Supra will perform on one of the world’s most demanding circuits. Toyota is expected to take the wraps off its sporty coupe in the months to come.

Video: Sport Auto / YouTube

Gallery: BMW Z4 M40i First Edition (2019)