This is the second year now that the prototype of the much awaited BMW Z4 was caught winter testing near the Arctic Circle. The two-door soft top Roadster is expected to break cover this year and hence this seems like an important final stage of testing by the Bavarian carmaker. Interestingly, there are two prototypes spotted testing both of which appears to be two different trims.
The two Z4s are flaunting two different designs for the fascia. One test mule has a prominent black lip spoiler protruding ahead of the Kidney-grille nose, while the other has a subdued pair of the air intake. Although the differences are limited to the front we can expect BMW to translate them into different trim and engine options when the production-spec arrives. The simple alloys from the test mules will also be replaced by the more stylish ones. The disc brakes are also expected to be rudimentary and will be replaced by larger units.
The snow covering a majority of posterior hides all the bumper creases and most of the sleek LED tail lights. The exhaust tips on both the vehicles differ as well. One mule has a stylish trapezoidal pair of exhausts flanking a diffuser between them. The other roadster was wearing a pair of circular tailpipes sans the diffusers. The new stylish tail lights on both the mules were identical.
The new Z4 is under development for quite some time now along with the resurrecting Toyota Supra, as a part of collaborative development between the two carmakers. The Toyota sportscar will come as a hardtop coupe while the Z4 will be a roadster as previewed by the Z4 Concept from last year’s Pebble Beach Concourse. Both the two-seaters are based on the same scalable matrix platform developed by both the carmakers. The Japanese giant will provide with the electronic gizmos and the speculated hybrid drive, while the Bavarian will source the lightweight carbonfibre architecture and engines to the duo.
There are no official details of the powertrain for the Z4 available at the moment. However, we speculate a range of engine options for the roadster starting from four-cylinder to a turbocharged 3.0-litre straight-six. A hybrid variant with around 250-300 horsepower is also on the cards. The transmission will be developed by BMW and will be shared by the Supra as well. No manual is expected and neither is the souped-up high-performance Z4M variant.
The new Bavarian roadster will break cover this year. BMW could select the Geneva stage for the official debut before the car starts rolling out on the roads sometime next year. When launched, the new Z4 will come as an alternative to the Jaguar F-Type, Audi TT and the Mercedes-Benz SLC.