By on August 15, 2017

bmw z4 concept, Image: BMW

BMW just dropped a photo of the upcoming Z4 Concept. Expected to be unveiled at Pebble Beach this Thursday, someone with access to the company’s social media account apparently couldn’t wait that long. While the photo they’ve chosen obscures a good bit of the vehicle, there’s enough to accurately identify it as BMW’s upcoming roadster.

Codenamed G29, the next-generation Z4 will be built on a sports-car chassis co-designed with Toyota. Mechanically, it is a sister to the returning Toyota Supra, leaving everyone interested even more ravenous for detailed specs. However, as this is a concept, it’s unlikely BMW is going to give anyone a full rundown during Monterey’s Car Week. We’re hoping the company lets something slip. 

What we know for sure is that both cars will be rear-wheel drive, and the Z4 is rumored to have a 2.0-liter four-pot or an optional 3.0-liter straight-six.

The teaser image shows a kidney grille unique to this concept, with stacked headlights positioned almost vertically. The front air inlets and wheels are appropriately scaled for a concept car, while the windshield is scaled down. None of it appears cartoonish but the production probably won’t be quite so dramatic. Still, it’s immediately identifiable as a Z4 — right down to the telltale creases along the vehicle’s side.

The 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance kicks off on August 16th and runs through to the 20th. BMW’s Z4 should make a less-obscured appearance on August 17th.

[Image: BMW]

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9 Comments on “BMW Teases Z4 Concept Prior to Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance...”

  • avatar

    I’m sure it will be a blast. Powered by the tractor-like BMW turbo 4 that is no fun to wind out on a back road, weigh 5000 lbs and cost $75k.

    Probably will look good though.

    I find it funny the more what were once great-driving cars move in this direction, the more genius I see in the Mazda Miata.

  • avatar
    Tele Vision

    If it has the same I4T engine that’s in the current 228i it’ll sound horrible. I watched a 228i hammer off of the line last week. Sounded like someone ripping a mattress in half – until the eternal gear change. Then more bad sound.

  • avatar

    BMW is hurting partly because of an image problem. Interior quality and reliability are also issues, but let’s talk about the image problem.

    More than most makes, BMW always depended on slobbering reviews in the enthusiast press. It was The Ultimate Driving Machine, something that said “I’m a car connoisseur.” Since the F30 3 appeared, that’s entirely stopped. Reviews of BMWs made in the last five years are complaint-fests: overly soft suspension (except for M products on which it’s overly firm), feel-free steering, opaque option packaging, cheap-feeling interior materials, fast and efficient but totally boring 2.0T engines.

    I don’t think the consumers actually care much about any of these weaknesses, except maybe the interior situation. But I do think that they notice, and care about, the bad reviews. Now the brands that people think will indicate they are car connoisseurs are Mercedes and, for compact luxury cars, Audi.

    So BMW should seek to get those fawning reviews back. And they need a dramatic gesture to do it. Feel-laden steering would help, but it’s not enough. Same with “just right” suspension tuning. But what would really get everyone’s attention is a return to the inline 6. Journalists are polite to 2.0T fours because they see that’s where the future is. But they hate them just as much as any other enthusiast. Substituting a 2.0T inline six in all of the 2.0T four’s numerous applications, at least the RWD ones, would generate an absolutely epic level of buzz and good vibes for BMW. Pair that with a renewed “The Ultimate Driving Machine Is Back” ad campaign and Mercedes’s mellow would be decisively harshed.

    Yes, a 2.0T six would get worse fuel economy and be more expensive to build. But if the 3.0T six is any indication, fuel economy wouldn’t be horrendous. And in the US, at least, we’re also in an era where fuel economy will be ignored for a few years. I think it would be the best step for BMW to take to reverse its slide.

    • 0 avatar

      It is very interesting that British car reviews almost always rate BMW as having superior steering feel and suspension tuning versus Audi and M-B, while US outlets typically talk about BMW’s poor steering feel and overly soft suspension, and often rate Audi and M-B as better. Thus the question is whether its the reviewers who are different or the cars which are different across these two markets. If the US cars are “tuned” differently than the UK versions, then BMW has obviously concluded that US buyers want dull steering and mushy suspension, which is unfortunately probably accurate.

    • 0 avatar

      BMW tuning seems to cover a wide gamut in the US. I rented an F30 328i a few months back, and just spent a few days with a friend who has a 228i, I’m guessing with the sport package. The 328i was pretty awful. Fake leather really downgraded the feel of the cabin, and the suspension/steering feel was more inert than the Accord rental I had not long before.

      By contrast, the 228i felt buttoned down and sharp. The red leather really upped the feel of the cabin. My faith in BMW was pretty quickly restored.

      I will say the 2.0T engine is pretty effing good. I was down on it before, because I think the 328i disappointed me as a full package. But my friend picked me up at night, and I thought he had got the M235i. The thing had punch…. really moved even with me, him, my wife and our luggage. I would still do an x35 though… really warming up to the 335i. But I would budget for a full suspension overhaul- coilovers, brakes, select bushings and obviously wheels and tires. Def would get a Quaife too. There’s still life in BMW yet; you just have to dig for it.

  • avatar

    I really like the look of a colorful Z4 but to drive them- terrible. heavy, no feeling, no power, stupid thick steering wheel.

    This one looks like a bloated mess. Super high beltline, probably weighs 4000lbs.

    Zero reliability, wouldn’t take a BMW on a finance, lease only and give it back at the end.

  • avatar

    Huh – I thought BMW was cutting the Z. This is a car that’s rarer than a *2-series around here.

    *the local BMW is 90% stocked with 3-series. I’ve never seen a 2 on the lot.

  • avatar

    If BMW is so bad how it is still better than Cadillac?

  • avatar
    Shortest Circuit

    “Z4 is rumored to have a 2.0-liter four-pot” bye Felicia!

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