Introducing the Brand New BMW Z4
By Zlatan Stankovic on August 21, 2017
In the automobile industry, there are certain manufacturers who command attention and it’s fair to say BMW has found a place on this list. After many years of producing high-end vehicles all around the world, they’ve gained millions of supporters who look forward to every single reveal. For those supporters, now is the right time to get excited because details of the new BMW Concept Z4 have now been released and we have the information for you here!
Despite only being a concept right now, it’s very easy to run out of superlatives while looking at the model with its sleek appearance. Full of character on the outside with definition and clever shaping, it looks welcoming on the inside just like every other model BMW seem to produce these days. Luckily, we’re all going to be able to see the Z4 in action this week since it will be making an appearance at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
‘Revival of Recreation’
This is the phrase BMW has used to describe their new concept model and it’s hard to disagree. Very quickly, it’s easy to see the influence from traditional vehicles while also being able to bring the design and features into the 21st century. Not only is it compact, it seems to follow the path of the Z3 and Z4 but still manages to progress the whole BMW brand in its own unique way. Of course, it has the sporty theme running through the shape and seats but it also has a classic and traditional characteristic to it too. From the outside, it looks like it has been hand-sculptured with the long hood and short read deck.
Compared to its predecessors, the Z4 has the driver a little closer to the middle of the car and this comes from the short hood. In addition to this, it also boasts the twin-kidney grille first seen on the 8 Series Concept. With the wheels, they’ve been designed to optimize the flow of air as the car travels and, as a result, have been labeled as ‘Air Breathers’ by BMW. Sadly, we do have to restrain ourselves slightly because this is only a concept model and we don’t know exactly which features will make it across to the final product while others are left behind.
On the inside, the driver benefits from two different driver displays and they actually sit at the same height which is new. Above the cluster of instruments, there’s also a HUD (Heads-Up Display). Elsewhere, we can’t dive under the hood just yet because the information simply hasn't been released. However, previous rumors tell us that a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine will act as the foundation of the car with the possibility of a turbo inline-six.
Looking ahead, we can’t wait for the festivities at Pebble Beach and it’ll be interesting to see what details we come away with once the event is all said and done. Furthermore, we’re also looking forward to more details regarding the Toyota Supra, the close cousin of the BMW Z4, because these two are likely to be compared rigorously.
BMW Themes- So with this new information on the Z4, what’s the thinking behind the idea? Thanks to the BMW website, we can see what they have to say about the new model and there seems to be a big focus on the ‘open road’ and ‘heritage’. With the soft-top roof and roll bars in place, it brings the BMW back in time to some of the best cars throughout history. However, it also offers plenty of power when needed as the carefully-designed shape cuts through the wind and allows for even more speed.
In terms of the design itself, BMW say that ‘every single inch’ of the car has been designed with great care and attention, Not only have they considered power with the design, they want to portray grace and passion. After what probably involved endless design meetings and hundreds of bad ideas thrown in the trash, we think BMW has settled on a very good model.
For the interior, BMW wants to create a harmony between chrome and leather. With bi-color seats and intuitive instruments, the driver and all passengers will be comfortable on even the longest journeys while being helped by the instruments that require only a glance or even a word at a time.
Finally, we haven’t yet mentioned the color and this is because there has been some confusion over the whole topic and whether BMW will offer a variety of shades. In the concept model, we have a stunning Valencia Orange and it suits the Z4 perfectly. In sunshine, the car stands out and catches the light in all the right areas. In darkness, it looks menacing, powerful, and like a car that will catch the attention of every single pedestrian as you drive past.
History of the Z4- So why is this release so exciting? Why has it captured the imagination of car enthusiasts all around the world? To find out, we need to go back in time and to 2002 where Nokia were still the king of the mobile phone and technology was just starting to play a role in vehicles.
On October 22 2002, BMW finally launched the Z4 roadster after months of speculation. At first, the model was limited to two models; six-cylinder 2.5 and 3.0. As we all know, it was the third generation in the BMW Z Series and followed up on the successful Z3. In the first generation of Z4, the engines in every single model were naturally aspirated. As time went on, turbocharged engines were finally made available for the second generation. As soon as 2011 hit, turbocharged engines came as standard and this remains true in 2017.
Furthermore, the first generation (between 2003 and 2009) had a fixed-roof coupe option as well as the soft-top model we all came to know and love. In the second generation (between 2009 and 2016), every design offered a retractable hardtop. Next year, the 2018 model and the beginning of the third generation will return to the soft-top which brings back the idea of heritage and tradition once more.
Once the BMW finished with the Z3 in 2003, most people were wondering where the famous brand would take the brand. However, they didn't have to worry for long because 2003 saw the biggest sales numbers in the Z4’s history in the US with over 20,000 models sold over the course of twelve months. In the coming years, this remained above 10,000 before finally dipping below in 2008. Ever since the highs of 10-15 years ago, sales have actually been steadily declining; could this be the reason BMW is concentrating so heavily on tradition and heritage? Over the course of the year, they’ll certainly be hoping they can reach the dizzy heights of the beginning of the millennium.
Second Generation- At the start of a new generation, it’s also interesting to take a look back at the end of the last generation. For those who owned or still own a second generation BMW Z4, you’ll know that the focus was very much on bigger dimensions. Furthermore, they tried to make the Z4 more attractive to a wider audience which meant adjustable throttle, chassis, and steering settings.
In total, there were three different options for consumers depending on the engine size they required. For example, the smallest of them all was a 2.0-liter engine with 181 horsepower. After this, the middle option offered a 2.5-liter engine with six cylinders and reached just over 200 horsepower. Finally, a 3.0-liter range was also made available in three different tuning options; 255, 302, and 335 horsepower.
What’s New?- Finally, with everything we’ve seen so far, what will differ from the second generation? Although we’re only looking at a concept car currently, we can certainly see that it’s a bold statement from BMW. If you’ve seen the 8 Series Concept, this is probably a picture for how all BMWs will look in the future but the low shark-nosed front of the Z4 seems to suit its personality well. From front to back, the Z4 rises into what can only be considered as a muscular rear-end.
Out of everything, it seems to be the styling where the differences are made when compared to previous models and competitors. As we saw earlier, the new-style kidney grilles add a nice touch but they're much wider than ever before. Since we’re so accustomed to the slatted appearance of the grille, the new mesh design gives the car a whole new look; it’s surprising how big a difference this one change has made to the front of the Z4. As a result of the wider grilles, this means the headlights are now wider and the twin lights are also stacked which is a brave new move from BMW.
Utilizing a new fabric hood rather than the hardtop, the car should be lighter with the third generation. This, combined with the fact the driver is more towards the middle of the car, should lead to an improved driving experience. With the concept model, the hood has actually been removed which allows for a couple of extra touches we’re sure won’t be in the final design including sculpted fairings (behind the headrest).
Summary- Above all else, the new Z4 has been designed as a driver’s car and this is clear to see in the cockpit. With the controls and technological features easier to access than ever before, it provides the whole experience and we’re sure it will feel new regardless of whether or not you’ve driven a Z4 previously.
As of yet, we still don’t know much about the engines but we can suggest a 2.0-liter four-cylinder and 3.0-liter six cylinder from experience; thanks to the big change in 2011, these will both be turbocharged. For everything else, we simply have to wait for the reveal and announcement at Pebble Beach this week. If you’re excited or enjoyed our guide today, feel free to leave a message or contact us on social media!