Rumor has it the M-infused Z4 will have as much as 385 horsepower.

It’s been a while since we last talked about the new Z4 and now we have an official statement made by a high-ranked BMW official in a recent interview with Autocar. Dirk Hacker, M’s vice president, fueled those rumors about a potential hot version of the next-generation roadster by hinting at an M Performance model to build upon the strong positive feedback received after the concept’s reveal last year. His exact words were: “Fast versions of the car look interesting.”

Officially revealed

But don’t get your hopes up too high just yet for a fully fledged M variant as Dirk Hacker said there’s no announcement to be made (at least not at this point) about the prospects of a Z4 M. Even so, it’s nice to hear straight from BMW that one hot version of the roadster is in the works and rumor has it the model in question is going to be the Z4 M40i.

At the heart of the Z4 M Performance will allegedly be a turbocharged 3.0-liter engine borrowed from the 340i. Codenamed “B58M1,” the straight-six mill is rumored to develop 335 horsepower, while those with a bigger thirst for power will have to fork out more money and get the optional Competition Package. We’ve heard through the grapevine that it’s set to use a different specification of the engine, dubbed “B5801,” which will churn a meaty 385 hp or a significant 50 hp more than the standard model.

It’s unclear at this point whether the M40i flavor will be available upon launch or BMW will decide to wait a while before spicing up the Z4’s lineup. Expect the next-generation roadster to come out in an entry-level s20i guise powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter unit rated at 180 hp. The same engine will allegedly be installed in the s30i where it will generate 250 hp.

The Z4, which is set to be “completely unique” compared to the platform-sharing Toyota Supra, will break cover at a major auto show this year.

Source: Autocar

Gallery: BMW Z4 Production Lights Spy Photos