The Concept Z4 has been revealed overnight by BMW at the Concours d’Elegance event in Pebble Beach, California, with the two-door roadster ushering in the next evolution of the Bavarian carmaker’s design language.
Taking inspiration from the design cues of classic roadsters, BMW created a concept that remains true to tradition while having an eye towards the future.
A long wheelbase and compact rear end remain, as does a low-slung, stretched silhouette, but a shorter bonnet means occupants sit closer to the Z4’s centre compared to its previous iterations.
Another significant change is the adoption of higher-mounted headlights – akin to the Z8 – which are vertical in shape, a departure from BMW's signature horizontal set-up. Nevertheless, the four-eyed cluster design carries on.
Sandwiched between the headlights is a re-interpretation of the kidney grille, which trades its renowned vertical slats for a mesh look, similar to higher-spec versions of the new-gen Hyundai i30.
A large dome stretches rearwards from either passenger seat’s headrest, incorporating rollover bars while enhancing the rear-wheel drive Z4’s sporting intent.
Air breathers behind the front wheel arches aid aerodynamic flow, and add an aggressive styling cue.
Slim L-shaped tail-lights feature at the rear end, as well as an integrated bootlid spoiler and prominent carbon-fibre diffuser, complementing the Z4’s swollen rear wheelarches.
A series of creases and precise lines fold into one, creating an overall sculpted, muscular exterior.
Finished in ‘Energetic Orange’ matte paint, the Z4 concept rides on bi-colour 20-inch double-spoke alloy wheels.
Inside, the driver-focused cockpit is blacked out in contrast to the passenger-side's orange highlights, while the digital displays for the instrument cluster and multimedia system are parallel.
A head-up display is also included, while all in-car controls are grouped by function, contributing to the cabin’s minimalist approach.
According to BMW Group Design senior vice-president Adrian van Hooydonk, the Concept Z4 is an example of open-top motoring in its purest form.
“The BMW Concept Z4 in an all-out driving machine,” he said.
“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.
“The BMW Concept Z4 expresses the new BMW design language from all perspectives and in all details. From the dynamic-looking front to the striking flanks to the clean-cut tail end, a few lines and the subtle interplay between surfaces are enough to generate a sense of power and emotion.”
Engine options are yet to be confirmed, but a BMW internal document leaked recently suggests a pair of 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engines and one 3.0-litre turbo-petrol six will be on offer.
Furthermore, a six-speed manual gearbox or eight-speed automatic transmission is likely to be offered.
The Z4 could break out in production trim as soon as the Geneva motor show in March next year, with a local debut to likely take place later in 2018.
Toyota is expected to introduce its sportscar from the aforementioned partnership at the Tokyo motor show in October, with the rumour mill speculating the Supra nameplate will be resurrected.