BMW’s Z4 roadster replacement has been caught by our spy photographers making its Nurburgring debut as the development nears its completion. We’ve previously seen it undergoing cold weather snow testing.
This time, we’ve also scored a glimpse inside the new BMW soft-top’s cabin, which appears to show a more conservative approach than that used on the now-dead Z4.
As we know, the new BMW sports car, tipped to be called ‘Z5’ and reportedly coded G29 internally, is being developed in a program alongside Toyota — a bid to share costs in a low-volume segment that remains important for brand image.
If speculation is correct, the 2018 BMW Z5 will be larger than before, but weigh no more than the current car, and will share components with the reborn Toyota Supra coupe, which you can read about here.
The Bavarian car-maker will also return to using a fabric top rather than a clunky folding metal roof — the fashion for which appears to have died in the age of lightweighting.
Our brief look inside the disguised cabin shows an evolutionary approach will be made, with what appears to be a design more in-line with other BMW models. The Z4 had a number of distinctive features, such as its ventilation controls.
The Z5 and Supra will share the same rear-wheel-drive platform, with rumours suggesting that Toyota’s version will feature a hybrid powertrain. Suspension tunes will obviously be different.
The Z5 is expected to be offered with the choice of turbocharged four- and six-cylinder engines, sent to the ground through the rear wheels, although an xDrive all-wheel-drive option could also be on the cards.
The Z4’s replacement isn’t likely to be revealed until sometime in 2017, with sales of the new car commencing in 2018. Expect a sharper rival to the Porsche 718 Boxster and hotted-up Audi TT derivatives to be the result.
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