At this year’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, BMW has unveiled a concept which previews the third generation BMW Z4. BMW Group head of design, Adrian Van Hooydonk presented the car which previews the production roadster out in 2018. The production Z4 is a joint project between BMW and Toyota. The platform will also underpin a Toyota sports car that’s expected to be the long-awaited successor to the Supra.
Like every new rear-wheel-drive BMW, the next Z4 is underpinned by the CLAR architecture which offers a lightweight platform, so important for great driving dynamics. Therefore, an all-wheel drive system will not be offered.
Under the hood, sources say the Z4 will be powered by four and six-cylinder engines. The base model is the Z4 sDrive20i, powered by a 2.0 liter four-cylinder unit rated at 180 horsepower and 200 lb-ft of torque. The s30i features the same engine in 248 hp, 258 lb-ft guise, with the Z4 M40i using a version of the 320 hp, 340 lb-ft straight-six from the 340i. A Competition Package could be offered for the high-end Z4 which will offer an additional 40 horsepower and 30 lb-ft of torque.
According to Automobile Mag and a BMW spokesperson, there won’t be a Z4 M. It would require too much mechanical and plastic surgery to justify a price that would have likely been close to six-figure territory. Although CLAR is set up for plug-in hybrid and full-EV applications, we expect the Z4 to rely exclusively on the aforementioned combustion engines. The only hybrid you’ll get is a mild one so the engine doesn’t also have to power auxiliary equipment.
Although the base model will come with a six-speed manual gearbox, higher-end versions will relay torque via an eight-speed ZF auto box.
Wheel sizes should range from standard 17-inchers to an optional 19-inch package offered in a bundle with bigger brakes.
The BMW/Toyota partnership will also span a coupe version for the Japanese which is scheduled to debut later this year. The cars share BMW’s engines and will be built at a neutral site, the Magna factory in Graz, Austria.
Price wise, expect the new Z4 to sell for around the same price as the last-generation model at just north of $50,000 and move up from there when it hits the streets, likely late next year.