But you’ll be likely be disappointed if you thought this was the production Z4
BMW has revealed a teaser image of the upcoming Z4 roadster before it is shown off in full tomorrow, giving us a clue into how the Porsche 718 Boxster rival will look when it hits showrooms next year.
Following on from a teaser sketch of the new car’s profile, the dark shadowy image actually reveals quite a lot. However, it certainly appears that this is a concept car and not the actual Z4 we’ll see on the road – much like the 8 series concept shown off earlier in the year.
Concept car or not, the image does show a pretty radical departure for BMW in the lighting signature, moving away from the traditional twin-roundels and instead stacking them in a lighting unit that draws up the bonnet much like a Jaguar F-Type. The headlights straddle a low and wide kidney grill, featuring the same steep downturn at its extremities, as have other BMW concepts in the recent past.
The overall roadster silhouette remains intact though, with a strong character line rising from the front wheel arch contrasting to the previous Z4’s curved rear haunch over the rear wheel-arch.
The new Z4 has been previously spotted in prototype form testing at the Nurburgring. As well as a swirly patterned wrap over every bit of bodywork there are extra panels covering significant elements. Abrupt rectangular openings appear instead of any properly styled vents and the Munich marque has even gone to the extent of bolting on some extra back lights on some of the prototypes so the proper rear lights remained hidden.
Our own Adam Towler has spotted a version of the car in the south of France and he described it as ‘surprisingly small, low and quite angular.’
The new roadster will replace the current Z4 that’s been in production since 2009. The existing car was never that spectacular, even when it was launched. This new car is going to have to be a significant improvement if it’s going to compete with the Porsche 718 Boxster, Jaguar F-type V6 S and even the Mercedes-AMG SLC43.
One thing we do know about the next Z4 is that it will share the same platform as Toyota’s next generation Supra. In the past both cars have had similar GT-like proportions and it’s easy to see that both could easily share the same underpinnings. There have been rumours that the BMW and Toyota’s shell will be made using the same materials and construction as the carbonfibre BMW i3 and i8.
As is typical for most modern BMW’s the Z4, and therefore Supra, will be rear-wheel drive and probably have MacPhearson strut front suspension and a multilink rear. It’s likely that both cars will also use BMW engines, and we’d expect to see a range of both four- and six-cylinder turbocharged engines. A full M version of the Z4 will probably appear sometime in the future, too.
So far all of the spotted Z4 prototypes have been roadsters and the suspected new Supras have been coupes. This format, a drop-top BMW and a hard-top Toyota, is likely to be how the cars are launched, but we anticipate that a BMW will launch a coupe version of the Z4 at a later date just as it did with the first generation.