Next-generation BMW Z4 will be co-developed with Toyota, debut as the Z3

Article by Christian A., on January 22, 2014

Scott26 a.k.a. the best source for the latest BMW news just released additional info regarding the next-generation Z4. As expected, this new model will be co-developed with Toyota but what’s more interesting is that the new sports car will receive the Z3 moniker. The design will be influenced by the Vision ConnectedDrive Concept.

If BMW will offer the Z3 as a roadster, Toyota will make its own version of the vehicle but will sell it as a coupe at first. Still, both manufacturers will offer the vehicle as a coupe and roadster later. Moreover, both manufacturers will develop their own chassis. Comparing it with the current Z4, the new Z3 will be lighter thanks to weight reduction innovation, while the pricing is expected to be in the same area.

The Z3 will also ditch the hard top we seen and loved on the Z4 in favor of a soft top, in order to reduce the weight. The new sports car will also feature a carbon fiber tub and chassis, as well as key elements such as suspension arms made form CFRP, aluminum A structure and chassis section.

Toyota will also put its second-generation plug-in hybrid technology on its car, while engines will be from BMW and as expected we will see four- and six-cylinder engines. The Z3 will be the first car (along with its Toyota sister model) to use a carbon tub in its price range. The boot lid and bonnet lid will also be made from carbon fiber.

Compared to its predecessor, the new BMW Z4 is longer (plus 148 mm at 4,239 mm) and wider (plus 9 mm at 1,790 mm). Its larger dimensions means the new Z4 offers larger interior for both passengers and their luggage. Thanks to its wider dimension and design enhancements, the new Z4 offers greater shoulder room (plus 20 mm) and elbow room (plus 43 mm). When the roof is up, headroom increases by 44 mm.

The newest model is the first BMW Z4 that comes with a bespoke storage facility – with a capacity of 15.5 liters -- behind the driver and passenger seats. Featuring netting to hold the items in place, this single compartment further increases the interior width of the Z4, as complemented by an optional Storage Package for extra stowage capacity.

Meanwhile, BMW's latest generation of iDrive is now installed on the new BMW Z4. Featuring BMW ConnectedDrive functionality, the BMW Professional Multimedia Navigation system comes with a HDD (hard disc drive) with the capacity to hold 12 GB of audio files. In addition, the system features eight programmable Favourite buttons serving as system shortcuts.

Thanks to its distinct roof construction, the BMW Z4 features a boot that could carry between 180 liters and 310 liters. Now, BMW Z4 customers could avail of a through-loading system for extra storage capability, featuring a hatch between the two seats.

BMW also further enhanced driver visibility in the new Z4. Thanks to four electric windows that create a larger glasshouse, all round visibility and side visibility have been improved by 14 percent and 40 percent, respectively. In addition, a glass rear window of the Retractable Hard-Top roof helps improve visibility by 52 percent.

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