BMW Z2 Roadster rendering

BMW Z2 Roadster rendering

We’ve been reporting on news that BMW is planning to launch a new compact roadster model positioned below its current Z4 since as far back as 2006. Now, just a few weeks out from the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, BMW spokespeople have confirmed to Australian media that such a car will be on show in concept form at the upcoming Swiss event.

Unfortunately, separate BMW insiders claim the new roadster concept isn’t destined for production but rather will be a showcase of design elements planned for future models from the automaker. This suggests that the new concept could be the mystery ConnectedDrive concept we reported on last month.

The roadster concept is expected to feature wild styling and special lighting elements. There could even be special retractable doors that slide away into side sills, reminiscent of BMW’s own Z1 roadster concept from the 1980s.

Some of the ConnectedDrive elements we should see include car-to-car communication, real-time navigation and the latest sensor technology for accident avoidance.

If built, a compact and lightweight roadster developed on the rear-wheel drive platform destined for the next-generation BMW 1-Series would prove a worthy adversary to a new mid-engined roadster from Porsche, Volkswagen and possibly Audi. Closest rival Mercedes-Benz is also considering launching its own roadster model based on its future compact car platform so there’s certainly some interest in the segment.

Pictured above is a computer-generated rendering of what the new BMW roadster may look like. It carries the Z2 title to denote its potential positioning in the automaker’s lineup.