In all honesty, the BMW Z4 is long overdue an update. The main competitors have all been improved massively since the latest Z4 went on sale. Porsche have released a £45,000 Boxster which is praised as one of the best handling cars on the market, while Audi has released a TT-RS which is faster than the original R8 supercar. All this while that Z4 has been out of production since August 2016.
However, back in August 2017, BMW took the wraps off the Concept model of the new BMW Z4 at the glamorous Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and just last weekend the Z4 finally arrived for public viewing at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, alongside the production version of the new BMW 8 Series.
The concept of the BMW Z4 is simply stunning. The angular body lines are completely new but the silhouette of the concept model stays true to what the Z series stands for. There is a long, imposing bonnet at the front, a relatively short and stubby rear-end with the driver and passenger sitting low down and only slightly in front of the rear axle.
Inside the Z4 concept is a very minimalist interior. BMW explains that “Nothing is superfluous, nothing distracts. Instead, everything is directed towards the driver and the pure driving experience.” One thing we cannot ignore is the fact that the two bucket seats in the concept car are different colours. One black leather and the other tan leather, and this division of colours extends to the dashboard also. The instrument cluster, steering wheel, centre console and gear stick surround are all wrapped in black leather, whereas the passenger has a forward view of a lot of brown leather and not much else.
Striking features on the exterior include the sharp, narrow wing-mirrors in a contrasting silver-tone which match the two aerodynamically-designed humps behind each seat. Elsewhere, the bonnet is vented and the two front kidney grilles have chrome accents and there is a chrome plate with the ‘Z4’ name tag at the centre of the front splitter. Of course, this is only a concept at this stage. There is no doubt that a lot of the styling will be either toned-down or removed completely by the time the Z4 hits the showrooms.
A full-blown Z4M model has been ruled out thus far, however, we do know that the debut Z4 will be an ‘M40i’ model. The same ‘M40i’ tag exists in the current range and it typically involves a 3.0-litre, 6-cylinder, turbocharged petrol engine with over 330 horsepower.
A recent press release suggests that the new Z4 is going to be available at the end of 2018, although no dates have been announced yet and winter seems like an odd time to release a convertible…