Will a BMW Z2 Roadster make sense?

Rumors | December 23rd, 2008 by 20

As the new BMW Z4 is making its impressive entrance, another question arises in the mind of BMW fans:  should BMW build the rumored Z2 …

bmw z2 2012 498x332

As the new BMW Z4 is making its impressive entrance, another question arises in the mind of BMW fans:  should BMW build the rumored Z2 Roadster? In the past few months, more and more information regarding a future Z2 started to leak to the press and caused some controversy between the bimmer fans. 

They believe the new E89 Z4 has moved away from the typical roadster type and the increased weight – between the E85 and E89 of around 200 lbs – makes the Z4 unlikely to be more dynamic  than the E85, a car with already excellent handling. Some people believe that the image of a sport ride will shy away with the new Z4 and the introduction of a smaller, more dynamic roadster is the right answer.

Since the new 2009 BMW Z4 has moved up in size as well – not a bad thing in my opinion – this will create an empty spot for the Z2. The BMW Z2 could be a pure roadster that will go back to the original idea of a sport, fun BMW vehicle and by offering a soft rooftop again and removing the unnecessary comfort features, could become the Ultimate Driving Machine one more time, a car that will be purchased due to its performance and handling by the true BMW enthusiasts. With Z2 BMW are aiming at the compact Roadster class and possibly a Z2 Coupe could feature as well.

We all know that BMW will focus on building smaller cars, with reduced weight and more efficient engines. In the next few years, there will be a huge push and a demand for four-cylinder engines, which combined with a lighter, smaller car, will offer an excellent ratio of performance and fuel consumption. BMW’s big push for a Compact Roadster is simple under Efficient Dynamics BMW aim for the Z2 Roadster to be the first hybrid BMW Roadster in production utilising BMW eDrive with BMW wanting to continue with what has started with the MINI-E and continue towards the BMW brand and eventually over to Rolls Royce. 

I do also expect a four-cylinder engine to be available, most likely the engine developed together with the French company PSA.

The BMW Z2 which is scheduled for 2012 launch, will be built on the 1 Series platform in order to reduce manufacturing costs and to keep an attractive base price. For the U.S market, an appealing base price is near the $30,000 mark which will allow BMW to win over the young professionals crowd.

In conclusion, I believe that a BMW Z2 Roadster will be the right call for the german manufacturer, but before the final go-ahead is given, they will need to take in consideration the sales of the new Z4 and most important, customers’ feedback of their new roadster design and performance.

20 responses to “Will a BMW Z2 Roadster make sense?”

  1. Andys120 says:

    Absolutely! From the moment I first saw the 1-Series I thought they should include a 1-based two-seat roadster. Now that the Z4 hasmoved into GT territory there’s a gap in the BMWlineup a lot bigger than the imaginary one they filled in w the hideous X6.

    I think the Z4 could be a great car but it is not a kick-ass lightweight roadster.

  2. NickGreece says:

    From the nurburing video with the camouflaged Z4 it seems like the car handles really well despite its weight ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJVAcKdlEPw ). It would be a shame if that great effort from BMW in the E89 model in the design, marketing, performance is not matched with a great handling.

    This would leave an unmatched gap with the boxster and cayman…

  3. Mauro Corti says:

    Of course it will make sense. The only roadster bmw now has is the Z4, wich is beautiful, no doubt, but it’s TOOOOOOOOOOOOO heavy… 1400kg for a 2 seater, this is crazy. Bmw needs a 1200-1100 kgs REAL roadster, I think the Z4 is a real piece of art but it’s simply too heavy, there’s no reason a roadster should weigh like that

  4. Lee says:

    No, it doesn’t make sense AT ALL.

    If BMW makes it, it’s still going to hit 3k lbs (~1400kg) easily. Without a doubt, and you can quote me on that.

    If I could trust BMW to make a roaster that tipped the scales around 2500lbs, cool. I’d say go for it. I can’t, though. They’re going to put too much crap in it to ever hope of getting close to that mark.

    I think the more intelligent and reasonable thing to do would be to offer the Z4 with a competition package if that’s really the market BMW is after. Strip it out, shove an s54 or n54 TT in there, tighten up the suspension, maybe some larger brakes and different gear ratios… done. And you wouldn’t have to worry about having two separate roadster models requiring a crapload of separate manufacturing tools/dies/lines.

  5. Gragop says:

    @Lee: yeah, what he said, and make my a coupe, not a hardtop convertible

  6. Doug says:

    This will be built on the 1-series platform, right? Surely they’re not going to create a whole new frame and such. They’re already making far too many different cars.

  7. Joe says:

    They already have a 1 series convertible and coupe with a redesign coming down the road. Why waste money building another car? This is how Detroit got in trouble…over-extending themselves! BMW does not need that many products.

  8. Lee says:

    Oh yeah, it would absolutely have to be a coupe. No question about that.

    It’s not like it used to be back in the day. There is no frame, really. They use unibodies. The only real “frames” that might be usable from the 1-series are the front and rear subframes. Even that’s iffy.

  9. txdesign says:

    Yes, a lightweight Z2 Coupe available with a turbo 4-cylinder.

  10. Lee says:

    A BMW just isn’t a BMW without an inline 6.

    If you want a turbo 4-banger roadster, get a Mazdaspeed Miata.

  11. Roffle Waffle says:

    if they can build it for under 2800lbs, then yes. If its gonna be another 3200lb “lightweight” sports car, screw it.

  12. Gragop says:

    @Roffle Waffle: @Lee:

    I agree on both counts, which is one thing I hold against the 1er – the weight for the 135i isn’t very impressive. If the weight isn’t under that of a Cayman then what competitive edge does the car hold?

  13. Lee says:

    Pretty much, yeah. Even BMW’s “compact” cars tip the scales as if they were mid-sized cars. It’s not just a BMW thing, though. It’s that way with most everyone. The MKI GTI weighs ~1800lbs. The MKV GTI comes in at ~3100lbs.

    It’s just a sad fact of life now. The Mini is pretty light (compared to other cars now) at roughly 2700lbs. By yesterday’s terms, though, it’s a freakin’ pig.

    I just don’t see BMW making a “Z2” that can border on 2500lbs. They’re not in the market for hardcore track people, or at least they’re not after enough of those types to build a car that specifically targets them.

  14. Doug says:

    Granted, nobody welds i-beams or tubes together anymore, but there is still a frame —- or is that technically the “body”, to which body panels are hung? (Must admit I’m a little embarassed to not know this)

    It’s still incredibly expensive to engineer and manufacture, whatever it is, costing 100s of millions to develop and tool up for. That’s my point about having too many different cars.

  15. Lee says:

    The “frame” is technically part of the body itself. There are still rails running along the bottom of the car, but they’re actually part of the floor board. No longer do you simply bolt a body onto frame rails, slap a drive train in it and send it out the door (trucks and SUVs are an exception to this).

    The diff is held to the body by the rear subframe (essentially a few pipes/cross beams that bolt to the unibody) and the engine/tranny is held up by the front subframe and crossmembers.

    You can see the “frame” rails in this pic of an e39’s undercarriage:

  16. Roffle Waffle says:

    Horatiu, on the front page, please move the “favorites” button further away from the “comments” button. When you mouse down towards the comments button, the other button always unravels that whole link.

  17. Roffle Waffle says:

    oops I mean the share button, it unfolds OVER the comments button

  18. BenC says:

    if the z2 looks anything like that rendition then i will def become a fan haha

  19. Horatiu B. says:

    @Gragop: I believe the weight on the Z2 will be much much lower, since, thank God, no hardtop.

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