As much as we’d like to see one, a full-fat M-badged Z4 is unlikely to materialise, meaning the B58-powered M40i is the best we’ll get. Even in M-lite form, performance is nothing to be ashamed of, but Germany-based Lightweight Performance has decided to take it to the next level.
Having worked on its offerings for the past decade, the tuner is no stranger to BMWs; one of its latest projects was the M2 Competition, with aims to bring the standard car up to the level of the £75,000 M2 CS. Named the ‘Z4 R’, this model takes a similar approach, aiming to provide the thrills that an M-badged Z4 might have offered.
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Under the bonnet of the Z4 M40i is the 3-litre turbocharged B58 straight-six, sending 335bhp and 369lb ft of torque to the rear wheels. Thanks to an ECU tweak, Lightweight Performance has extracted an additional 60bhp and 51lb ft of torque for an output of 395bhp and 420lb ft – this puts it just a few bhp short of the M2 Competition.
From factory, the range-topping Z4 will cover the 0-62mph sprint in a quoted 4.6sec, and go on to a top speed of 155mph. Top speed now sits at a very respectable 186mph thanks to the removal of the speed limiter. However, no new acceleration times have been disclosed – we’d imagine the 0-62mph sprint would come a few tenths sooner than factory, however.
Akin to an M-car, buyers can opt for a new quad-exit exhaust system, available in either black or carbonfibre finishes. A new downpipe can be had for the ultimate experience, but the tuner’s stainless steel silencer can be fitted alone if you’d like to be kind to your neighbours. Despite the brand’s lightweight focus, it decided to ditch titanium for stainless steel due to the sound the lightweight metal produces.
A carbon front splitter and lip spoiler are both fitted for increased downforce and stability at speed, with a carbon rear diffuser also in the works – these aerodynamic tweaks can be had on all variants of the Z4. Also available later this year will be adjustable Bilstein suspension (lowering springs are already available to drop ride height by 15mm).
Also new are a staggered set of 21- and 20-inch wheels, wrapped in 255-section front and 295-section rear Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S tyres, helping all of that additional power get to the ground as efficiently as possible. Brake pads and lines are also upgraded, and aluminium pedals and floor mats can be found in the cabin.
No pricing for the upgrades has been provided. However, the standard Z4 M40i will set you back from £47,750.