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BMW uncovers Z4 concept

All 4: The production ready Z4 will be revealed within the next 12 months, according to BMW.

Pebble Beach concept previews BMW’s next-gen Z4 roadster


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18 Aug 2017

BMW has uncovered its Z4 roadster concept ahead of this weekend’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, previewing the design of the production ready sportscar co-developed with Japanese car-maker Toyota.

The final production model will be revealed at some point in the next year, according to BMW, and GoAuto understands the road-ready roadster is expected to hit Australian showrooms in 2019.

BMW the Z4 blends classic roadster design elements with the company’s latest design language.

The low-slung two-door drop-top features a long wheelbase, a compact rear end and short overhangs, but the bonnet is shorter than in previous BMW roadsters – think the last two Z4s, the original Z3 and the Z8 – to ensure the driver sits closer to the centre of the car than before.

The wedge-shaped sportscar features a pair of domes that stretch out from the cabin directly behind the two differently coloured and covered seats, doubling as rollover bars.

Up front, the dramatic shark-like nose houses a wide kidney grille with a mesh look instead of traditional BMW slats and higher-mounted headlights reminiscent of the iconic Z8 but with a vertical quad light look.

‘Air breathers’ behind the front wheel arches aid aerodynamics, while some creases and lines fold into one, making for a buffed exterior design.

At the rear, the Z4 has slimline L-shaped tail-lights, an integrated bootlid spoiler and a carbon-fibre diffuser, as well as beefy rear wheel arches.

The Z4 concept rides on bi-colour 20-inch double-spoke alloy wheels, while the body is finished in Energetic Orange matte paint.

BMW has not revealed any details about the roof, but overseas spy shots revealed that the production model will use a folding fabric roof much like the first-gen Z4.

The latest version appears to usher in fresh interior styling for BMW, with a new gear shifter not seen on any other recent BMW models, and a more modern dual-screen instrument cluster and infotainment system.

All in-car controls are grouped by function, pushing BMW’s minimalist approach.

A head-up display is included.

The colour of the passenger side trim matches the exterior colour, while the driver’s side is an all-black affair.

BMW Group Design senior vice president Adrian van Hooydonk said the Z4 showed a new design direction for the car-maker.

“The BMW Concept Z4 is an all-out driving machine,” he said. “Stripping the car back to the bare essentials allows the driver to experience all the ingredients of motoring pleasure with supreme directness. This is total freedom on four wheels.

“The BMW Concept Z4 expresses the new BMW design language from all perspectives and in all details. From the dynamic-looking front to the striking flanks to the clean-cut tail end: a few lines and the subtle interplay between surfaces are enough to generate a sense of power and emotion.”

Powertrain details remain officially undisclosed, but a recently leaked internal BMW document reveals the production version will be offered with a pair of 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engines and one 3.0-litre turbo-petrol six-cylinder unit.

Toyota is yet to reveal its version of the sportscar, but it is widely tipped to pop up at the Tokyo motor show with Supra badges.

BMW discontinued the second-generation Z4 last year after it went on sale in 2009. It followed the first-gen model that was offered between 2003 and 2009.

While there are few direct rivals for the Z4, it could be pitched against the Porsche Boxster, the Mercedes-Benz SLC, Audi TT convertible and high-end versions of the Ford Mustang convertible.

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