The next-generation BMW Z4 roadster, expected to go on sale in the U.S. in early 2019, will have a platform shared with Toyota Motor Corp., new engines and a fabric roof instead of a retractable hardtop.
BMW Group last week unveiled the long-awaited Z4 design concept during Monterey Car Week in Pebble Beach, Calif. It previews a production car that BMW says will “be revealed over the course of next year.”
The last Z4 went out of production in August 2016. BMW is working with Toyota to jointly develop the Z4’s replacement and a Toyota sport coupe speculated to be a revived Supra. The cars will use a new lightweight platform, and the next Z4 is expected to grow in size. In late June, BMW CEO Harald Krueger said the cooperation with Toyota on the project “is going very well.”
The BMW Concept Z4 has classic roadster design cues including a long wheelbase, a low-slung and stretched silhouette, and a compact rear end. But a shorter hood and crisp overhangs in the wedge-shaped concept put the driver closer to the center of the car than in previous BMW roadsters. The Pebble Beach car captures BMW’s new design language, company design chief Adrian van Hooydonk said.
“Stripping the car back to the essentials allows the driver to experience all the ingredients of motoring pleasure with supreme directness,” van Hooydonk said in a statement.
There had been speculation that the Z4’s successor would be named Z5, but that is now unlikely. Recent reports indicate a manual transmission will be offered, something that had been in question, along with new four- and six-cylinder engines. A plug-in hybrid variant is possible. A fabric roof will replace the retractable hardtop on the previous-generation Z4.