View Special Offers
We’ve known for years that BMW and Toyota have been jointly developing the successors to the Z4 and the Supra. And it actually seemed like the project had been canceled until reports came out last year that the new Z4 and Supra were still going to happen. Since then, we’ve caught prototypes testing. We found spy shots of the interior. And now, we get our first look at the BMW Concept Z4 during Monterey Car Week.
The biggest surprise here might actually be the name. We’ve assumed all along that BMW would call its upcoming roadster the Z5, but clearly, we were wrong. Considering this is a concept, details could change before production. But considering how production-ready the Concept Z4 looks, especially in the interior, we get the impression that, at least design-wise, this is pretty much what you’ll see when the roadster lands on dealer lots.
Compared to the current car, the new Z4 gets a much more aggressive look. The front and rear borrow a lot from the 8 Series Concept that BMW revealed a few months ago, both with the stretched, horizontal twin-kidney grille and the massive air intakes. Sadly, while BMW says the Z4’s “trio of large air intakes are a nod to the powerful engine further back,” it hasn’t said what that engine will actually be or how much power it’ll make. And while the headlights are supposed to be part of the Z4’s aggressive new look, we have to admit that when viewed from the front, it’s got a little bit of an “angry amphibian” feel to it.
Viewed in profile, you can see the Z4 is still long and low, but the proportions have been changed to make it look less like the driver is sitting over the rear wheels. The lines, though, are much less curvy than before, giving the car a more angular, muscular look. Out back, the taillights, exhaust tips, and design lines work to visually widen the car, continuing the long, low theme you get with the rest of the car.
Inside, there’s a cabin that could easily be put into production with minimal changes. Everything from the large infotainment screen to the iDrive controller looks standard BMW. The coolest part, and also the one least likely to make it to production, is the two-tone interior. BMW’s designers wanted to make sure the Concept Z4 was designed with drivers in mind, so they visually segmented off the passenger area with body-color leather. Sure, it’s a little gimmicky, but it also looks seriously cool.
If the production Z4 is actually anywhere near as sporty and driver-focused as BMW claims the concept is, then it’ll be one serious driver’s car. Of course, we probably won’t actually get to test those claims until a lot closer to production, likely sometime next year.