The Best Of 2018 Pebble Beach
- Aug 26, 2018
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It has been almost a year since BMW discontinued the E89 Z4 hardtop convertible internationally. With sales numbers dropping like a stone in the wake of shifting priorities towards SUVs/Crossovers it looked unlikely for the company to develop a new non-hybrid sportscar.
The BMW Concept Z4, revealed at the Concours d'Elegance at Pebble Beach, California, will spawn a future roadster which many enthusiasts had feared would never see the day of light. BMW, for now, has only showcased the car as a design study and remained tight lipped about its drivetrain.
The Concept Z4 harks back to the company's tradition of manufacturing some of the most desirable 2-seater classic roadsters. The classic sportscar recipe being an engine at the front (preferably a large one), the driver sitting behind it, with the power sent to the rear wheels all packaged into a low slung, long wheelbase body. These cars were all about speed and handling with very little attention paid to other factors. Of course, as time progressed, the roadsters became bigger, safer and more luxurious.
The Concept Z4 also indicates a shift in BMW design. The classic sportscar proportions have been tinkered with to create a more usable cabin. The hood is not too long as compared to the rest of the body as the production model will not be powered by a very high capacity motor. The cabin moves closer to the centre of the chassis, which BMW claims as being a sportier position to sit in. The boot remains stubby but is not as abrupt as previous roadsters/Z cars.
The Concept Z4 ushers in a new generation of BMW design, which has progressed since the 8-Series Concept was showcased in May 2017. The Z4 is wedged shaped when looked at from the side, with prominent dual domes stretching out from behind the passengers' seats.
At the front, the Z4 features an all new headlight design. Though still featuring a dual-projector setup, these are stacked up vertically than horizontally, giving the Z4 a meaner look. The signature 'Kidney Grille' remains but has been given an overhaul; instead of the traditional vertical slats, the Z4 features a mesh with studs - giving it a refreshing look.
The hood features two deep creases which add some flashiness to otherwise flowing clamshell piece.
From the side, the Concept Z4 looks quite busy - this has been done intentionally to create a dynamic effect. A large 'air breather' behind the front wheel act as the starting point for one of the character lines on the side which flow over the rear haunches and onto the slim taillights. The concept is fitted with dramatic looking 20-inch wheels.
A lower character line is used to create a deep crease on the doors, rising sharply to meet up with the wheel arches.
At the rear, it is all about highlighting how wide the car is. The L-shaped taillamps are slim, which are placed below a swooping integrated spoiler. The bumper is dominated by air outlets and twin pentagonal exhausts.
The 'Frozen Energetic Orange' paint job is not limited to the outside. The Concept Z4 features a unique interior theme with a dual-tone treatment - part-black and part that long fancy paint name.
The driver is surrounded by light black upholstery and sits cocooned in his/her own part of the cabin while the passenger is surrounded by a cabin which matches the exterior colour.
As with all BMWs, the instruments on the dashboard are angled towards the driver. The deep steering wheel hub and the stacked instruments increase that feeling of driver focused design.
The instrument cluster behind the steering wheel and the central infotainment system are exclusively made up high-definition digital displays.
A production-ready version of the Concept Z4 is expected to be shown in a years time in 2018; more details about the powertrains and driving components are also expected to be revealed in that time period. We know that the next Z4 shares it platform with the upcoming Toyota sportscar, which could bring back the legendary Supra nameplate.
Recommended Read: This is the BMW 8 Series ConceptRecommended Variant : Z4 sDrive35i
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