The long-rumored BMW Z2 project is still alive and according to our sources, it’s on a track for a market launch in the next two years. In their latest edition, German magazine AutoBild has a new report on the Z2 roadster that brings back the idea of a front-wheel drive platform. According to the magazine, the Z2 could use the UKL platform, the front-wheel drive drivetrain that will underpin the next generation MINI.
The idea of a small BMW roadster driven by a front-wheel drive platform has been floating around for quite some time now, but the company has yet to officially acknowledge any of these speculations. With an official launch by latest 2013, we are inclined to believe that the Z2 will in fact be a rear-wheel drive vehicle. The development and testing time needed for a new model is around 7 years, and based on information from our sources, the Z2 roadster has been moving along the new generation F20 1 Series due out this year.
The UKL architecture will first appear in the new MINI and new BMW sub-compact vehicles, but the market launch time for these vehicles is set for 2014.
Our sources indicate that the BMW Z2 is not only based on next generation 1 Series platform, but it is also build under the Project i umbrella and the BMW’s EfficientDynamics program. It uses a high strength steel body, while the door skins and aluminum front bonnet, front wings and bootlid are made of composite materials. Propshaft and engine block are manufactured from magnesium. Target weight for both Coupe and Roadster is 2,200 lbs (1000 kg). The Z2 will feature front movable front spoiler to provide extra down force, opening and closing intakes and grille slats provide cooling for the engine or battery.
To save even more weight, the roof of the BMW Z2 will retain the conventional easy folding soft-top.
The engine candidates for the Z2 roadster are the new turbocharged four-cylinder units with displacements from 1.6 to 2.0 liters which can cover a power range from 136 to 245 horsepower. The choices in transmission will be limited to a six-speed manual or the highly fuel efficient ZF 8-speed automatic. Other options considered are an all-electric engine and a hybrid with range extender petrol engine.