The BMW Concept Z4 has been revealed this week for the Concours d’Elegance at Pebble Beach, previewing the company’s next-generation roadster.
Seemingly confirming the Z4 name, the concept car previews the production version which will be revealed sometime over the next 12 months.
If BMW’s previous design studies are anything to go by – think X2 and 8 Series – it’s safe to assume the market version will look very similar to the vehicle shown here.
Compared to the vehicle it replaces, the BMW Concept Z4 is very much an evolution of the company’s roadster, thanks to key design cues like its long bonnet, short rear overhang, wrap-around tail-lights, along with its low-slung, wide body shape.
Above: BMW Concept Z4, Bottom: BMW Z4
Headlining design touches include mesh inserts for the double-kidney front grille, reminiscent of early BMW roadsters like the 328 Mille Miglia, and a new vertical representation of BMW’s four-eyed headlight design, with the LED tubes overlapping rather than sitting side-by-side.
An aggressive front apron with a trio of large air intakes give the Z4 a very athletic face, while the carbon-fibre insert at the centre of the front bumper draws inspiration from motorsport.
The concept is finished in an eye-catching Energetic Orange ‘frozen’ exterior paint, while 20-inch bi-colour double-spoke alloy wheels fill the flared arches.
At the rear, there are new L-shaped LED tail-lights – similar to those worn by the 8 Series concept revealed in May – along with a prominent spoiler which extends from the wheel arches.
Like the front, carbon-fibre is used on the rear diffuser and incorporates dual trapezoid tailpipe finishers.
Unlike the previous Z4, however, the new concept features large domes that extend from the backs of the seats, lending a speedster-like aesthetic while also doubling up as rollover bars.
In the cockpit, the Z4 concept showcases a remarkably production-friendly look that could be easily transferred into the final car’s interior.
A full digital instrument cluster display sits behind a deep squared-off steering wheel design, while the centre stack features a wide and angular main display above a compact control space and an elbow-height console.
Although the two displays are individual units, BMW says it has set the screens at almost the same height and close together for a near seamless look. A head-up display is also featured.
BMW has yet to reveal any technical details about the concept or its next-generation production roadster, although it is known the new two-door will ride on a platform developed together with Toyota – the latter using it to form the basis of its spiritual successor to the popular Supra.
Spy photos obtained in May also revealed a development sheet taped to a prototype’s dashboard, revealing that at least one variant will be an s20i model with a 145kW/320Nm B48 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine powering the rear wheels via a six-speed manual transmission.
In all, BMW will reportedly offer the new Z4 with a choice of turbocharged four- and six-cylinder petrol engines. Toyota’s version, said to revive the Supra name, will be offered as a coupe and may feature a hybrid drivetrain.
Watch for more on the new roadster come in the weeks and months ahead.