The fact we barely talk about the Z4 goes to show the little roadster has seen better days in terms of popularity. If recent reports are to be believed, BMW is preparing a minor LCI for the convertible sports car before ending production in 2025 without a direct replacement. Two-door vehicles are generally falling out of favor, which is why sources close to Bavaria claim the 4 Series and 8 Series Coupe and Convertible will merge into a new 6 Series lineup.
But why have customers stopped buying cars that only have two doors and/or two seats? BMW’s head of design provided an explanation at the 2022 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in an interview with media. According to Adrian van Hooydonk, it’s because people nowadays want a versatile car that can do it all:
“Today, people want everything. They want it all, so that turned into an SUV with a sporty character, and then it turned into an SUV-coupe. It sounded quite strange at first but now it’s very normal. People don’t want to give up a certain lifestyle because they need four doors.”
Rather worryingly, van Hooydonk expressed his concern about this transition from a purpose-built fun car to a practical five-door larger vehicle not being reversible:
“I hope that’s not a trend that will continue, but perhaps times have changed for good. Perhaps people are no longer prepared to make the type of compromises that they were prepared to make several years ago.”
The SUV craze has had an impact not only on two-seaters, but also on what were once the traditional body styles. We’re talking primarily about sedans and wagons, which have seen a drop in demand in recent decades. The fact BMW has X1 through X7 models and an XM on the way goes to show how vital SUVs are to the success of an automaker.
As a matter of fact, the company’s Chinese division launched a long wheelbase version of the X1 in 2016 while the bigger X5 Li was unveiled earlier this year. Stretched cars in China used to be a sedan-only affair, but even SUVs are getting the LWB treatment nowadays.
For the time being, buyers are still spoiled for choice when it comes to getting behind the wheel of a BMW that has only two doors or seats. The 2 Series Coupe switched to the second generation less than a year ago and its lineup is about to be topped by the new M2. You can still get coupe and convertible versions of the 4 Series and 8 Series, plus the Z4 roadster.
That said, the 2 Series Convertible is probably not coming back considering its bigger brothers are not exactly winning any popularity contests.