BMW Z4 M40i Gets Prescribed a Dose of AC Schnitzer’s Performance Upgrades

BMW Z4 M40i 32 photos
Photo: AC Schnitzer
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No matter how well a car performs, there’ll always be a tuner that makes it even better.
We can all agree on one thing; the German auto wizards over at AC Schnitzer aren’t playing around. Back in 1987, the firm was co-founded by Willi Kohl and Herbert Schnitzer as a subsidiary of Kohl Automobile GmbH. Ever since its birth, the company earned a reputation as a force to be reckoned with, thanks to their delicious tuning modules and virtually countless achievements in the world of motorsports.

To be frank, this manufacturer never ceased to amaze the aftermarket realm with their top-grade performance enhancement kits for the likes of BMW, Land Rover and MINI, as well as Jaguar and Toyota. Believe me when I say: these folks pride themselves with a truly colossal inventory that guarantees to soothe just about any petrolhead’s soul.

In fact, I’ll tell you what; instead of me just babbling on about AC Schnitzer’s exceptional ventures, let’s take a closer look at one such entity, shall we? To be a little more specific, we’ll be examining the tuner’s achievements on BMW’s magnificent Z4 M40i. Needless to say, they’ve managed to bring this bad boy to a whole new level.

BMW Z4 M40i
Photo: AC Schnitzer
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not about to say the stock Z4 M40i is anything but spectacular. On the contrary; it’s a showstopper in the truest sense of the word! The version for European markets is put in motion by a fierce turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six powerplant, with four valves per cylinder head and a compression ratio of 11.0:1.

At 5,000 revs, this liquid-cooled behemoth is capable of generating up to 335 bhp, joined by a feral torque output of 369 pound-feet (500 Nm) at around 1,600 rpm. Power travels to a rear-wheel-drive system via a Steptronic eight-speed automatic transmission.

Ultimately, the Bavarian convertible boasts a 0-62 mph (0-100 kph) acceleration time of just 4.5 seconds, while its top speed is electronically governed at 155 mph (250 kph). BMW’s untamed beast crawls on 17-inch wheels with five sets of two spokes.

Without going into other details, it’s fairly safe to conclude that Z4 M40i doesn’t necessarily need any sort of upgrades to impress. Nonetheless, the AC Schnitzer team didn’t hesitate to find some considerable room for improvement.

BMW Z4 M40i
Photo: AC Schnitzer
The Aachen-based crew worked its magic on the turbo inline-six mill to extract an additional 65 hp and 74 pound-feet (100 Nm) of extra twisting force. As a result, the total output figures jumped to no less than 400 ponies and 443 pound-feet (600 Nm) of crushing torque.

Furthermore, you will find an array of visual tweaks that complement the increased power. These include bulky side skirts, a front splitter, hood-mounted air vents and an elegant rear spoiler that looks the business. The standard wheels were removed to make room for custom 20-inch alloy counterparts. Optionally, AC will be more than happy to install a lowering springs kit and a quad exhaust on request.

To make it all come together as a complete package, the German tuner also added some finishing touches to Z4’s interior, such as aluminum footrests, shift paddles and pedals. Last but not least, a five-year warranty is offered as standard.

And there we have it, ladies and gents. Now, this outstanding exploit should give you a clear indication as to what these fellows are all about. Personally, I’m aching to see what other projects will roll out of AC Schnitzer’s headquarters in the future!
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About the author: Silvian Secara
Silvian Secara profile photo

A bit of an artist himself, Silvian sees two- and four-wheeled machines as a form of art, especially restomods and custom rides. Oh, and if you come across a cafe racer article on our website, it’s most likely his doing.
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