It was in 2011 that we first caught wind of BMW and Toyota’s plans to jointly develop a “mid-size sports car platform” to spawn replacements for their respective Z4 and Supra models.
Today we have new spy shots of a prototype for the BMW which was previously thought to be called a Z5, but now thought to be retaining the Z4 name of its predecessor.
The spy shots reveal a wide, protruding nose and a set of narrow headlights, with the sleek design reminiscent of what we saw on BMW’s 8-Series concept unveiled in May.
The shots also reveal that the redesigned Z4 will ditch the retractable hard-top of the current model in favor of a more traditional soft-top roof.
In the powertrain department, we can expect 2.0- and 3.0-liter inline engines with turbocharging.
2018 BMW Z4 spy shots - Image via S. Baldauf/SB-MedienEnlarge Photo
While there’s been talk of hybrid technology being used, BMW will likely forgo this to differentiate the Z4 from Toyota’s Supra successor which has also been spied and is expected to go the gasoline-electric route. Sadly, we’ve heard there’s no plan for a BMW M-tuned version.
Look for the debut of the new BMW sports car, whatever it's labeled, in late 2017 or early 2018. A concept is tipped for the mid-August’s 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
It’s too early to talk pricing but expect a slight premium on the $50k starting price of the current Z4.
As for the new Supra, Toyota has already previewed the car with its series of FT-1 concepts.
Though yet to be confirmed, it’s thought the jointly-developed models will also be built together, at a Magna-Steyr plant in Austria. Sharing a production facility makes sense considering the low volumes of pricey sports cars.