For those wondering what name BMW will be calling the replacement for the Z4, well this one will truly surprise you. When BMW first said that it will be replacing the Z4, there was a lot of discussion on what the name of the name model would be with many expecting it to be called as the Z5. Co-developed in a partnership with Toyota, the brand has dispelled any such notion when it comes to the name.
According to an interview with Auto Guide, CEO for BMW North American Ludwig Willisch has confirmed that this upcoming sports car will not be named as the “Z5” and added that it is a name that was made up by other people. He added that it would likely carry over the name and when pressed for a possible name, Willisch said that it may be called as, surprise, surprise, the Z4.
In the same interview, Willisch was also asked what will be powering this two-seater and if it will have a straight six-engine. He answered though that everything will be open to various interpretations. While it may be called the Z4, this would not necessarily refer to the number of cylinders, he continued. Given this answer, there is the likelihood that the new Z4, which is expected to have a fabric roof, will have an inline-six engine and thus become part of the small units with four-cylinder engines. Auto Guide also asked Willisch if the upcoming model will have the xDrive set-up, to which he replied that even he was not sure if it will indeed be offered. He did confirm that the brand was not closing the possibility of a hybrid version.
It should be noted that sometime back, there were reports coming out that BMW was planning to come out with an all-electric all-wheel drive version utilizing Toyota’s knowledge when it comes to hybrid technology. There is no word however if such plans will push through. Another question that enthusiasts want answered is if the new Z4 will have a manual gearbox. The possibility is high however for this new model to have an automatic version considering that models with manual transmissions are becoming rare for the sports car segment. This is mainly due to the declining demand for such manual versions.
The official debut of this new Z4 is expected to occur sometime towards the end of this year with production to be done at the facility of Magna Steyr located in Graz, Austria. For Toyota’s version of the new Z4, dubbed by some as the “Supra”, it will be manufactured at the same facility with sales projected to occur sometime in 2018.
Officially unveiled during the North American International Auto Show held in Detroit back in 2009, the original Z4 was hailed was the first model from the brand to be designed by two women. Specifically, the body was done by Juliane Blasi with the interior credited to Nadya Arnaout. BMW ended the production of the Z4 in 2016.