BMW Concept Z4 goes back to bare essentials

BMW Concept Z4
This concept roadster is a preview of what the next BMW two-passenger sports car may look like. 


At this year’s Concours d’Elegance at Pebble Beach, one of the most extravagant automotive shows in the world, BMW presented its take on a brand new roadster. Called the Concept Z4, the open-top two-seater hints at what a production model will look like when unveiled next year.

Since being introduced 15 years ago, the Z4 became a little bit heavier and more comfortable over two generations. The manufacturer has promised a return to sportier beginnings for the next iteration.

BMW Concept Z4 rear angle

“The BMW Concept Z4 in an all-out driving machine,” said Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President of BMW Group Design. “Stripping the car back to the bare essentials allows the driver to experience all the ingredients of motoring pleasure with supreme directness. This is total freedom on four wheels.”

bmw concept z4 domes

A long wheelbase, low-to-the-ground stance, stubby rear-end and other traditional styling points have been kept. A shorter hood than previous models allows the driver to sit closer to the centre of the vehicle for better balance and feel. The built-in rollover hoops have been integrated into “domes” that slope towards the back provide a retro aesthetic.

BMW Concept Z4 front end

Enthusiasts will notice a handful of elements borrowed, but reinterpreted, from other cars introduced into the design, like the front bumper air intakes as well as the air breathers behind the front wheels. Headlight and kidney grille placement has been influenced by the former Z8. BMW’s love of carbon fibre has translated into crafting parts of the front end, the rear diffuser and other trim pieces with the lightweight composite material.

BMW Concept Z4 interior

Keeping in line with the driver-focused mentality, the minimalistic cockpit wraps around the occupant behind the wheel. Two high definition screens flow into one another to make up the instrument cluster and infotainment displays, which show vital vehicle information, navigation and more. The entire dashboard is finished in black to avoid creating distraction. 

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Benjamin Yong is a freelance journalist and communications professional living in Richmond, B.C. He is often found writing about cars and the auto industry, amongst other things, or driving around in his work-in-progress 1990 Mazda MX-5.

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