The new BMW Z4, sister to the Supra, is a handsome car in person, with a funky grille, funky seats, and a 3.0-liter B58B30 turbo straight six. What’s less impressive in person is how it sounds. This is a 340-horsepower sports car. It should sound snappy and wild, right?
No, it was so quiet rolling around the lawn at The Quail show at Pebble Beach that I had to walk up close to make sure it wasn’t a battery-powered show model.
I’ve heard these cars testing at the Nürburgring and I swear they weren’t as quiet as this. Now, I did figure that maybe the car opens up when you’re in some sort of Super Dynamism mode with the gas pedal to the floor. But those were prototypes and not the production car I saw at Pebble, so I reached out to BMW for clarification.
It didn’t take long before word came in from BMW that, yeah, it’s loud in loud mode and in super quiet in quiet mode:
The exhaust sound very much depends on which mode the car is driven in. It is quiet in ECO PRO and Comfort mode and much louder in Sport and Sport+ mode.
I have had the opportunity to be in and around the car when driven on nice open roads and I can assure you that it sounds very nice in the right mode.
So the Z4 is super quiet, just only when you want it to be. Keep that in mind when you’re driving around town; people might not even hear you coming.