When BMW quietly shut down the Z4 after the 2016 model year, it went out with more of a whimper than a bang. For a few reasons, the Z4 never ended up as a beloved sports car; other models, like the 2 Series and the automaker’s M cars, were the so-called “driver’s cars” in BMW’s lineup, and its two-seat convertible faded away.
But after a year or two of finding itself, the Z4 returns for 2019 — this time with the powered soft-top of its roots instead of the retractable hardtop of the recent generation. The 2019 Z4 might get more attention as the foundation that underpins the long-lost Toyota Supra. I headed to a BMW media event in Palm Springs, Calif., to see if the Z4’s return is triumphant or disappointing. (Per our ethics policy, Cars.com pays for its own lodging and transportation at such automaker-sponsored events.)