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BMW Concept Z4 in pictures - first official look at new roadster

Published: 17 August 2017

► BMW Concept Z4 unveiled
► First look at the new BM roadster
► World debut at Pebble Beach

You’re looking at the future of BMW sports cars. The Concept Z4 roadster points to the new roadster that’ll launch in 2018, replacing today’s Z4 folding hard-top.

The long bonnet is actually shorter than today’s model’s and extends into a steeply raked windscreen for a sleek, stretched-out profile. So far, so predictable. But the show car is dripping with modern design touches, including:

  • Vertically stacked double-decker headlamps, a real novelty for BMW
  • Super-wide kidney grille for a broad, stretched nose
  • Pronounced shark nose for a planted, dynamic stance
  • Slimline rear lamps with a wedge-like angle
  • Metallic rollover hoops stencilled with logo and integrated into front seats

BMW Concept Z4: a slick side profile

Strip away some of the conceptual silliness (the tiny door mirrors, out-sized exhaust pipes) and an entirely plausible silhouette emerges. It’s neat, pert and shapely, especially in side profile. Bravo, BMW! 

When can I buy the new BMW Z4?

Munich says ‘the attention-grabbing design study offers a look ahead to the series-production version of the car set to be unveiled over the course of next year.’ We’re expecting sales later in 2018.

The Concept Z4 made its public debut on 17 August at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California, where the BMW group has a history of revealing show cars.

Inside the new 2018 BMW Z4

These first official photos of the BMW Concept Z4 reveal a modern-day interior that looks entirely do-able in production. Okay, you’ll have to remove the swathes of leather adorning the dashboard, but the latest iteration of iDrive, the stubby gearlever and minor controls look every bit achievable.

Inside cabin of new BMW Concept Z4

Note also the digital dials and – a cool detail, this – what looks like a laptimer built into the bottom of the square-bottomed steering wheel. 

There’s also a pair of Race Start and Race Stop buttons at 10 and 2 o’clock on the wheel, nestling in front of paddle-shift gearlevers, and a head-up display is fitted.

Our spyshots have already revealed the production roadster’s interior design, which follows the modern-day BMW cockpit template.

Isn’t the new Z4 going to be twinned with Toyota?

Indeed it will. The two disparate brands already collaborate on small diesel engines and now they’re stepping up their partnership by working together on niche sports cars. It reflects how convertibles and coupes are difficult to make profitably.

The new 2017 BMW Concept Z4 show car at Pebble Beach

So the next Z4 will share its technology with the next-generation Toyota Supra in a strategic partnership between both brands. CAR understands that BMW will have a convertible-only Z4, while the Supra will be sold only as a coupe, giving the two brands more clear water.

Engines, specs and more details of the new Z4 roadster

CAR understands the production-ready Z4 will have a range of engines including a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine producing 194bhp and 236lb ft of torque. A six-speed manual gearbox has been spotted in our scoop pics, but we can expect to see BMW’s eight-speed auto, too (as shown in the concept car above).

We could also see a Z4M version, likely to feature a turbocharged straight-six with around 450bhp. Twenty-inch wheels, as seen on the concept car, are expected in production.

Expect the new BMW Z4 to go on sale later in 2018. Stay tuned for more details as we get them.

Check out our drive of the BMW CSL Hommage concept car here

By Jake Groves

CAR's deputy news editor, gamer, serial Lego-ist, lover of hot hatches