Dissecting the BMW Concept Z4 Roadster

The automotive press has been discussing the BMW Concept Z4 lately, noting that the roadster appears to mark a new direction for the company in multiple ways. Developed in partnership with a Japanese manufacturer, the Concept Z4 joins the recently-detailed 8-series Concept in showcasing a defined new design trend at BMW.

The body is more chiseled than the roadster's flowing predecessor, with a shark-nose that juts forward while the rest of the vehicle appears to lean backward steeply. While the body initially appears to be entirely angular, that's a design trick that's emphasized by the way the hood and fender meet; there's actually not a single flat spot or line that doesn't have a subtle curve involved. The distinctive rounded rear features hockey-stick taillights, with exaggerated versions of the BMW air ventricles riding in each corner to break up the bumper's visual heft.

BMW hasn't officially detailed the engine that will motivate the production Z4, but we're leaning towards it being the same 2.0-liter four-cylinder that's standard issue in the current model -- with a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six an available option. Similarly, we expect that you'll have a choice of a six-speed manual transmission or an eight-speed automatic.

The TFT display instrument cluster and center stack both orient toward the driver, and are conveniently placed in a manner that keeps important information close to the driver's eye level. WE expect the other interior features, sich as the shifter, to be relocated when the production model starts rolling out next year, so we're discounting their current placement in the Concept Z4.

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