Let’s say you’re in the market for a two-seater roadster, and the MX-5 Miata, a staple of open-air motoring, is just too mainstream for you. With the only American option being the Corvette Convertible, you naturally look to the Europeans for something a little more unique.

The BMW Z4 isn’t exactly niche or exotic, but you certainly won’t see as many on the road as the MX-5. Or even the Toyota GR Supra coupe, which as you probably know, shares key technical bits from the Z4.

We had a chance to sample this 2023 BMW Z4 M40i, a step up from the base-level sDrive30i. They’re both rear-wheel drive, but the M40i swaps the standard 2.0-liter inline-4 turbo for a 3.0-liter inline-six, also turbocharged and pushing 382 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. While both engines also power the GR Supra, unlike the Toyota’s recent addition of a six-speed manual transmission, the Z4 shifts with an 8-speed automatic only.

2023 BMW Z4 M40i 3
2023 BMW Z4 M40i 2
2023 BMW Z4 M40i 1
2023 BMW Z4 M40i 4
2023 BMW Z4 M40i 5
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Still, the steering wheel paddle shifters and satisfying exhaust note make this inline-six carriage feel just right. And that’s further outlined by the M Sport Package, with aerodynamic body elements and M Sport Suspension, now standard on all Z4s.

Other M40i-standard performance add-ons include the Adaptive M Suspension, M Sport brakes and M Sport Differential. These elements of M performance magic can be conjured up for the sDrive30i with an optional Dynamic Handling package, should the inline-six powertrain be out of your grasp.

Regardless of which you choose, the Z4 appears modern and edgy, complimented by unique color combinations like our gray exterior contrasted by an eye-popping red interior. The upscale cabin is very comfortable, yet still sports car serious, with tech supported by a 10-inch touchscreen and a digital instrument panel, capped off by a power-operated soft top.

The BMW Z4 starts under $55,000 for a standard sDrive30i. Stepping up to the M40i brings starting MSRP to the mid-60’s, with ours ending up just over 76-grand after options and destination.

And we’ll have more Quick Spins… soon!