This year will be marking some big highlights for BMW. After 2016, when the brand celebrated its 100th anniversary, 2018 will most likely be one of the most important years for the Bavarian company on the medium to long term. We’re going to see the 8 Series make a come back, the X7 launch and, last but not least, the new BMW Z4. The roadster could very well be the most exciting car the Germans launch this year and that’s not meant to steal any of the 8 Series’ thunder.

The Roadster niche overall isn’t doing great these days, especially considering most customers are just crazy about buying an SUV. The madness reached such a high that we now even have drop-top SUVs. Well, the Z4 is a true back to basics roadster, if we’re to believe the info coming in from Munich. It will retain the classic rear-wheel drive setup that made BMW famous and we will also get a manual gearbox on it, even though not on the top of the range version.

The car in the footage below definitely seems to be light on its feet and quite fast on the twisty bends of the Nurburgring. We’re not exactly sure about the engine under its hood, it could very well be one of the many incarnations of the 2-liter 4-cylinder petrol mill that will be used on entry-level and mid-range models. The power outputs will vary from under 200 HP to over 300 HP. The most interesting model will be the Z4 M40i which is still under development and according to our latest info, it may be offered in two different guises.

BMW is apparently testing the car in two configurations, one with the B58M1 3.0 liter six-cylinder engine, making about 340 HP and one with the B5801 good for somewhere near 380 HP. This latter version could be offered on countries with less strict emission regulations. It still remains to be seen which route BMW is going to choose, as offering two different engines for its car might not be profitable in the end.