Just yesterday, some new leaked photos surfaced, possibly showing off the face of the brand new BMW Z4. While we can’t confirm whether or not the photos are official, it’s likely to be so. We’ve already seen spy photos and official prototype photos and this looks identical to what we’ve seen in those. So we’re going to take a shot in the dark and say this is the new Z4’s real face. The bigger question is — is it better or worse than the outgoing car?

The current, and aging, BMW Z4 is a good car but it’s a car of many faults. It’s not very quick, it never really handled all that well, lacks steering feel and its folding metal roof, while impressive to watch, makes it too heavy and too compromised in terms of practicality. However, one of its strong points is its looks. The current Z4 is a proper looker, that’s for sure.

It’s smooth, flowing and classically proportioned. That long hood that seems to dive toward the road beneath it, the short rear deck and the fact that the driver sits far back, almost on the rear axle, all make it just such a handsome car. It’s both pretty and powerful looking, with seductive headlights and muscular rear haunches. So this new car has a lot to live up to. From what you’ve seen so far, do you think it will be able to?

Personally, I think it does but it’s very different. The current Z4 seems to have been designed to be a pretty car, a roadster designed for stylish, comfortable cruising. That’s what it’s good at and that’s what it looks like it’s good at. This new BMW Z4 looks like a sportier car, with its stubbier proportions, wider features and more aggressive styling cues. Which makes sense, as it’s going to be a much sportier car.

Don’t get me wrong, I like the current Z4. I have fond memories of driving a Z4 sDrive28i with a six-speed through the twisty back-country roads of New York State. However, I’m thrilled about this new Z4. I think it looks the business, has an awesome interior and, based on what we’ve heard and read, it seems to bring proper BMW roadster handling back.

It may not be as pretty as the old car and it may not be as flowing but it looks punchy and sporty and, more importantly, modern. So I’m happy with the way the new Z4 looks but I have a feeling there will be a lot of enthusiasts who are disappointed. And I don’t think I can blame them.