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Hello, Beautiful: BMW Concept Z4 Unveiled in Monterey

Munich builds an old-school roadster with modern charm

After letting the Z4 roadster wither on the proverbial vine for the last half decade, BMW finally gave us a preview of its upcoming replacement at the 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California.

“The BMW Concept Z4 is an all-out driving machine,” says Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President of BMW Group Design.

The Concept Z4 is our second look at BMW’s new design language. (Our first look was the Concept 8 Series, which was unveiled in May at the Concorzo Villa d’Este and made its North American debut alongside the Concept Z4.)

According to BMW, classical roadster design cues adopted by the Concept Z4 include a long wheelbase, low-slung and stretched silhouette, and a compact rear end. BMW wrapped all these in a fresh, confident package with big brakes, aggressive styling (including a shorter hood and crisper overhangs that ensure the driver sits closer to the center of the car than in previous BMW roadsters), and a low roofline to signal the two-door’s performance credentials.

Double speed humps project an old school roadster charm while directing your eyes toward the rear of the car, which resembles Infiniti’s Q60 coupe except with slimmer, L-shaped lights.

Inside the cabin, there’s a two-tone duality that separates the driver and passenger with contrasting brown and black leather…and that’s where BMW’s fresh design flourishes end, as the rest of the cabin is very similar to the rest of the current BMW lineup. This isn’t a wild concept in any stretch of the imagination. We do like the integrated red paddle shifters and what appears to be a lap-timer at the base of the steering wheel.

The car is finished in a coat called Energetic Orange Frozen that helps showcase the contrasts of “light and shade” in the car’s surfaces and accentuates the “three-dimensionality of the exterior.” 20-inch light-alloy wheels provide the last touches.

As for drivetrains and specific mechanicals, BMW has remained mum about what moves this concept or what the future production will be motivated by. What we do know is that the upcoming Z4 is a joint venture with Toyota that will share its chassis with the reimagined Supra that’s set to debut sometime in the very near future. Both are likely to receive some form of turbocharged six-cylinder, but whether that is a BMW powerplant or a new engine from Toyota is yet to be seen.

For now, all we have are the beautiful pictures and stunning lines of the Concept Z4 and van Hooydonk adding, “Stripping the car back to the bare essentials allows the driver to experience all the ingredients of motoring pleasure with supreme directness. This is total freedom on four wheels.” If that’s the plan for the production car, we can’t wait to get behind the wheel.

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Buying Guide
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2016 BMW Z4

2016 BMW Z4

MSRP $49,700 sDrive28i Convertible

EPA MPG:

22 City / 33 Hwy

Horse Power:

240 @ 5000

Torque:

260 @ 1450