At the 2024 Beijing Motor Show, we interviewed Bernd Körber, Senior Vice President of BMW Brand and Product Management, Connected Company. Körber, who oversees all product planning at BMW, shared some insights into the brand’s future. Typically, BMW is reticent about discussing upcoming products, but this time, the product chief was more forthcoming. One of the many topics we approached – you can read here about the wagon in the U.S. – was the future of the 8 Series and Z4 Roadster.

We’ve previously discussed these topics, but nothing is official until confirmed by BMW. Let’s revisit what we’ve reported earlier. Rumors suggest that BMW is contemplating an 8 Series model, exclusively as a gran coupe (G77). Additionally, if this model receives approval, it will likely be electric and built on the CLAR platform. Regarding the Z4, it seems this could be the final chapter for the iconic roadster, as BMW reportedly has no plans to introduce a new version, whether ICE or electric.

Is BMW Planning Another 8 Series?

We have often noted that the BMW 8 Series was a misunderstood product, with its success limited primarily by its high price point. With this in mind, we posed the question: Is BMW planning a new 8 Series? “The only thing I can tell you is that we are in, what we call, an early phase stage. So we are in the process of defining it,” Körber shares. “I think there is still a segment, especially around self driving cars in the luxury segment and driver-oriented cars. So there is a market and from the brand perspective, we need to have [a product].”

Körber did not elaborate further, but it’s evident that BMW is exploring the best options for this segment. Additionally, in 2025, ALPINA will come under BMW’s leadership, necessitating a new strategy for the iconic brand. Notably, the B8, based on the 8 Series Gran Coupe, was one of the brand’s standout models. Of course, there is the possibility of branding the 8 Series under the ALPINA name, but for now, that remains just speculation on our part.

How About The Z4 Roadster?

Next on our list of topics is the BMW Z4 Roadster. Rumors suggest that there are no plans for a new Z4, particularly since the current model barely advanced, largely due to Toyota’s involvement. The two brands collaborated on several projects, including the co-development of the Z4 and the Supra, a decision driven primarily by financial considerations. So is BMW considering a successor? “There’s always the question of realization because this time we did it as part of a cooperation [with Toyota],” Körber told us.

“So we would have to see how can you realize something unique but we definitely would like to look at this. In principle, I see a lot of value in the capability of building small series of like the 3.0 CSL. And then at the end, I believe in high profitable cool, fit-to-brand niches, but of course you cannot have it in all areas of the portfolio.” The answer is certainly intriguing and one would assume Körber was referring to the rumored Z4 Coupe which was apparently canceled after being approved for production. According to insiders, BMW planned a limited run of a Z4 Coupe based on the Touring Coupe Concept unveiled last year at Villa d’Este.

Of course, BMW has numerous opportunities to offer limited runs of special products in the future. With two architectures at their disposal—CLAR and NCAR—the Bavarians have the flexibility to create special models powered either by electricity or gasoline. However, for now, it appears the Z4 is an afterthought.