BMW is reportedly working on a new compact roadster called Z2 which will slot beneath the Z4. Since its launch in 2002, the Z4 has been growing in size, leaving space in the segment for a new car. This void will be filled by the new Z2 roadster, which will be based on the company’s UKL front-wheel-drive (FWD) platform.
The BMW Z2 will be based on the 2 Series Active Tourer, which uses the new Mini Hardtop’s stretched platform. Tipping the scales at around 1,100 kg, the two-seater will be a lightweight car and unlike the Z4, will feature a fabric top to save weight. The Z2 will be powered by a host of four-cylinder engines from BMW's modular engine architecture, with power ranging from 160bhp to 230bhp. A high-performance Z2 M might also be on the cards, churning out 300+bhp to all four wheels through the xDrive system.
The Z2 is a part of BMW’s strategy of adding more FWD models in its portfolio. FWD platforms aren’t just cheaper to develop and manufacture, they are also scalable and can be used in different segments. With the new range of FWD cars like Z2 and 2 Series Active Tourer, BMW is hoping to increase its audience by bringing new buyers to its brand.
Though BMW purists might not be happy with these new cars, FWD means that Z2 will be around USD 20,000 (Rs 11.9 lakh) cheaper than the Z4. The Z2 will be pitted against the other affordable, fun-to-drive sports cars like Audi TT, Mazda MX-5 Miata, Mini Roadster, Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ.