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New BMW Z4 Roadster (2019): everything you need to know

Published: 31 January 2018

► BMW-Toyota joint sports car project
► Due at the Paris motor show this autumn
► BMW Z4 will be convertible, Supra a coupe

The next Toyota Supra might be one of the most anticipated sports cars around right now, but it’s actually one half of a more intriguing project. The new, forthcoming Supra coupe will sport a Toyota badge, but it’s actually a joint engineering project with BMW - and the new Z4 will be its roadster counterpart. Our sources reveal it'll go on sale in 2019, following a world premiere at the Paris motor show in October 2018.

On this page you’ll find everything we know about the design, pricing and specs of the new Z4 Roadster, sprinkled with all the spy photos we’ve already scooped. So, want to know everything about the new 2019 BMW Z4 Roadster? Keep reading...

We've been papping the new sports car undergoing various tests around the world, plus we've now seen a concept car from BMW - giving us a pretty good idea of how it'll look.

New 2019 BMW Z4: spyshots reveal more design

The latest spy pictures show very little camouflage compared with previous shots, and reveal a wider, more oval shaped grille than what we’ve usually seen on BMWs. If anything, the front of the Z4 looks to be like a mixture of the recently revealed Z4 Concept, and the equally fresh 8-Series concept.

In addition, both the head and rear lights are lifted entirely from the Z4 Concept that was first shown at the 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance and then the 2017 Frankfurt motor show.


New BMW Z4: design

Looking closely at the front end, it looks as if the double-stacked headlights have remained from the concept car, even if the upper lamps have been hidden by translucent covers. At the rear, the light clusters have quite a fluid shape to them, much like the i8 plug-in sports car.

CAR talked to Adrian van Hooydonk at the 2017 Frankfurt show, and he said 'in our new form language, we want to make cars cleaner and have sharper lines. With the Z4, it's very different and a very new facial expression; the grille doesn't have slats but mesh like our history and the headlamp treatment is very different.'

'We want you to be able to distinguish which models are which in your rear-view mirror; sporty cars like the Z4 will have a low, wide grill while taller cars like the new X7 will be more vertical.'

New BMW Z4: interior clues

A sheet on prototype dash has described one car as a Z4 s20i, with a ‘B48’ engine. In BMW code-speak that’s a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine (its B47 stablemate is a diesel). The paperwork suggests this particular example turns out 145kW (194bhp) and 320Nm (236lb ft) of torque, and this one’s quite clearly linked to a six-speed manual H-pattern gearbox. The same engine may be made available with a higher power output too – think an s30i, for example.

Also on the helpful cheat-sheet is what looks like a scheduled production start-date of November 2018, although industry-watchers suggest other variants may reach the market earlier than that.

What engines will the new BMW Z4 use?

Given it’s a BMW, expect four- and six-cylinder power: there should be room for the latter in the versatile architecture, especially if Toyota wants to strongly demarcate the GT86 and potential Supra.

Apart from the aforementioned B48 2.0-litre four-pot, the turbocharged B58 six cylinder engine and eight-speed auto gearbox as seen in the M140i is thought to be earmarked for the top-spec regular Z4 model – a more-powerful-still Z4M variant may follow.

Every version we’ve seen so far has featured a 7000rpm redline and digital instrument cluster.

The M division one

It’s believed that BMW is engineering a Z4M with a 450bhp trademark straight-six turbo. This version will presumably feature a host of other upgrades, including better brakes and suspension systems.

New BMW Z4: What about the Toyota Supra?

This is a joint project between Toyota and BMW right? Indeed – and the two brands have seemingly agreed to create different bodystyles to maximise differentiation.

We understand BMW will stick with a soft-top roadster variant and has abandoned plans to engineer a clumsy folding hard-top. The new Toyota Supra meanwhile, is thought set to stick to a fixed-head coupe bodystyle.

This strategy is designed to lessen any potential sales cannibalisation, as has reportedly happened with the ‘Toyobaru’ - the GT86 and Subaru BRZ twins.

BMW and Toyota’s alliance: a recap

The German-Japanese relationship began in 2011, and includes collaboration on fuel cell cars, as well as BMW supplying diesel engines for European Toyotas such as the Avensis. The sports car alliance was launched in a second wave a few months later; sadly, the sports cars themselves aren’t expected until 2018.

The rumour mill suggests BMW and Toyota may soon announce an extension of their agreement, this time to include a joint, low-cost, front-wheel drive architecture to underpin future city cars, such as a baby Mini and next Aygo.

Read all our BMW reviews here

By Curtis Moldrich

CAR magazine's new online editor and tech lover