This CarBuzz article includes the following remark from Peter Langen, BMW boss of driving dynamics (where do I get a job like that?!), “For us, it’s really important. We made a decision to have more SUVs because customers want to have these cars, but it’s also important to underline sportiness and joy, which are the brand values of BMW. The Z4 will show those values very well.”
While I don’t agree with the bashing of the “old” Z4 by the auto press, the car is most definitely not just a boulevard cruiser, I am happy to hear that BMW has tightened the car a bit although I am not happy that the hardtop convertible is gone.
From the CarBuzz article and from Autoweek in the Netherlands, a rendering of what the new Z4 may look like. BMW and Toyota have entered into an agreement to jointly develop and use a “sporty” platform. The Z4 will be the convertible and the revived Supra will be Toyota’s new sports coupe. I believe all of the cars will be manufactured in Graz, Austria, which has become an auto manufacturing center.
Back to the reviews of the “old” Z4…from Edmunds here are parts of their review of the 2009 model, the first year of the second-generation Z4:
“The new Z4 is significantly more refined, there’s a little more room inside and it now boasts a power-folding hardtop…The Z4 mostly delivers when it comes to performance, the exception being its artificial-feeling electric power steering, and it adds a level of sophistication that few small convertibles can match…Visually, the car is stunning. There’s even a hint of the classic BMW 507 from the 1950s if you look closely at the front end treatment. The power-retractable hardtop also adds a whole new dimension to the car. Owners still get the al fresco driving experience of a convertible, but now they can seal up the car with the hardtop when the noise, wind and/or temperature get to be too much…The twin-turbocharged sDrive35i is better yet, offering up authoritative yet refined acceleration with no perceptible turbo lag. The snarky exhaust note only adds to the fun and gets angrier as the revs climb. The new dual-clutch automated manual transmission delivers quick and smooth shifts in manual mode, yet it doesn’t lurch in parking lot situations, and gently easing into the throttle doesn’t result in a sudden snap. In terms of handling and steering, BMW’s latest roadster is sporty enough for most…”
So, maybe not all of the reviews were as negative as I remember. As I have written ad infinitum, when my car is not giving me problems it’s a great car to drive and to see.