Will there be a successor to the BMW Z4?

Rumors | July 16th, 2013 by 10
Spy-Shots of Cars

The premium roadster segment has been struggling for years and the BMW Z4 sales along with those from Mercedes-Benz SLK have been relatively low to …

The premium roadster segment has been struggling for years and the BMW Z4 sales along with those from Mercedes-Benz SLK have been relatively low to the overall expectations. Despite a very-well received design and ride quality, the Z4 sales worldwide totaled 15,249 units in 2012.

In an interview with Auto Zeiting, BMW boss Norbert Reithofer makes an interesting reference to the Z4 and the possibility of having a successor. “”If the Z4 has a successor, it could be part of a new sports car architecture from BMW, ” said Reithofer in the same interview that also touches on the rumored BMW – Toyota sportscar.

Will there be a successor to the BMW Z4?

Rendering by Autoevolution

Our own sources say that a BMW Z4 successor is highly unlikely and that a possible follower would the long-time rumored BMW Z2. The Z2 would follow the steps of the successful Z3, a small compact roadster. While our sources indicate a rear-wheel drive platform, the remarks from Reithofer could be interpreted that the front-wheel drive architecture could be used in place. But at these point the details are pure speculations.

The new platform could help reduce costs and implicitly a relatively lower price point for the premium roadster. One of the reasons why the Z4 sales have been hurting is related to the base MSRP that made the car less attractive.

Under the hood, the BMW Z2 would make extensive use of the four-cylinder engine family which can be tuned to performance levels similar to a six-cylinder.

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  • Giom

    If it was me, I’d evolve the Z4 in the same way Porsche evolves the 911. It’s a good strategy. Each model will have a shelve life of decades with constant upgrades and improvements. With time, the Z4 could become a cult car with a following of its own. I do believe, BMW needs this model. It’s an image builder. Gives prestige to a company that builds more and more boxy-type cars. To me, it sounds like market suicide to kill off the Z4.

    • Tom

      BMW already forgot about the Z4 though, look at the competitors, SLK was redesigned and kept with time in 2012 model / Porsche Boxster was redesigned in 2013 and the newer Corvette in 2014 ETC with the rest of competitors atm everything is new and shiny expect the Z4, why would i buy the Z4 now if i were looking for a new car? i wont pay for a car that looks exactly the same since 2008 (The Z4 Face lift was embarrassing to be called a facelift)

      BMW doesn’t care about the Z4 if there was any intention to keep the Z4 a prototype would have been showing now plus they are busy with the upcoming X4+4 ETC they wont waste their time with a niche car, It’s +50.000$ car in europe with 180 horse power this is just silly to be called a sport car, a Toyota or nissan got better horse power and half the price.

    • Tom

      BMW already forgot about the Z4 though, look at the competitors, SLK was redesigned and kept with time in 2012 model / Porsche Boxster was redesigned in 2013 and the newer Corvette in 2014 ETC with the rest of competitors atm everything is new and shiny expect the Z4, why would i buy the Z4 now if i were looking for a new car? i wont pay for a car that looks exactly the same since 2008 (The Z4 Face lift was embarrassing to be called a facelift)

      BMW doesn’t care about the Z4 if there was any intention to keep the Z4 a prototype would have been showing now plus they are busy with the upcoming X4+4 ETC they wont waste their time with a niche car, It’s +50.000$ car in europe with 180 horse power this is just silly to be called a sport car, a Toyota or nissan got better horse power and half the price.

    • Tom

      BMW already forgot about the Z4 though, look at the competitors, SLK was redesigned and kept with time in 2012 model / Porsche Boxster was redesigned in 2013 and the newer Corvette in 2014 ETC with the rest of competitors atm everything is new and shiny expect the Z4, why would i buy the Z4 now if i were looking for a new car? i wont pay for a car that looks exactly the same since 2008 (The Z4 Face lift was embarrassing to be called a facelift)

      BMW doesn’t care about the Z4 if there was any intention to keep the Z4 a prototype would have been showing now plus they are busy with the upcoming X4+4 ETC they wont waste their time with a niche car, It’s +50.000$ car in europe with 180 horse power this is just silly to be called a sport car, a Toyota or nissan got better horse power and half the price.

  • gotanic4me

    I agree with Giom. The Z4 is a prestigious car that offers lots of indirect value for the general BMW brand. Killing it off is short-sighted. Its a beautiful car, unrivalled in design and mystic. Introducing a smaller car is nonsensical. It may move units but it degrades the general brand over the long term. BMW should stop worrying about maintaining its title as world’s largest selling premium brand and concentrate on building great products. So what if Audi or Mercedes take the title away? Who cares as long as great and inspiring products like the Z4 keep coming out of BMW’s factories, right?

    • andys120

      Whatever they do BMW should resist any temptation to produce a FWD 2-seater, that is a formula for failure. Two place cars should be driven by their back wheels and only by their back wheels. That’s not just me, that’s what the market wants, I think I’ve seen a total of 3 Mini Roadsters since it was introduced. Now if they were to put that motor and transaxle behind the driver they’d have a Mini “Sprite” and they’d sell me one for sure.

    • Michael

      +1 Perfectly said.

    • c. lassiter

      I own 3 BMWs, including a 2001 Z3 which I would love to update, but I’m not paying the ask for the current Z4. As this thing has moved upmarket, it has walked away from the valume (which explains why there are still more Z3s on the road than Z4s after all these years).

  • nettsu

    Having driven a current Z4 – I’m not a fan. It’s not a sportscar which I thought the intent was behind the Z3/Z4. It’s a boulevard cruiser – like the SLK. I think the interior has also become a bit too fussy.

    A Z2 makes sense especially if they share the platform with the MINI roadster. The purists may get their knickers in a twist about it being FWD though.

  • Jake S.

    Had a 2008 z4 3.0si and loved it, when it was time to change the new z4 had gotten way to big and was not nearly as fun in the twisties. IMO, BMW made a mistake in moving
    away from competing with the Boxster to competing with the SLK. Now I have a
    Boxster S :) all smiles.

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