Klaus Frohlich, BMW’s new head of R&D, says the company hopes to replace the BMW Z4 Roadster before 2020. At the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, Frohlich told the press that not only a Z4 replacement is in works, but also confirmed that it will be developed together with Toyota.
BMW and Toyota currently collaborate on a common sports car architecture, hybrid drivetrains and lightweight technologies. The collaboration will allow both companies to save significant R&D costs.
The global market for roadsters has declined forcing BMW to seek a cost-effective way to update the two-seater.
“If you look at the volume … we have to realize that these segments are shrinking,” Froehlich said, adding that the body type is not popular in the world’s largest market.
“[Car buyers in China] are not interested in roadsters,” said Froehlich.
Z4 sales declined by 11 percent to about 5,300 cars in Europe last year, according to data from JATO Dynamics. BMW said it U.S. volumes for the Z4 fell 13 percent to 2,150 cars. Typically the three biggest markets for the segment are the U.S., UK and Germany, in that order, Froehlich added.
“I would like to see a Z4 successor in this decade,” the BMW development chief said when asked about the timing of the Z4’s replacement.
Just last week, we outlined what we hope to see in the form of a Z4 replacement.[Source: AutoNews]