Legal woes involving patents forced BMW to shelve the Z4's LA Auto Show debut. Now company workers are scrambling to set things straight before a possible Detroit or Geneva appearance of second-gen Z4.

Los Angeles Auto Show. The place was meant to be the launch pad of new BMW Z4 but as we all now know, it wasn't to be. That's because of BMW's new naming scheme which involves trademarking the word "sDrive" for the Z4. sDrive is a term to be given, much like xDrive for BMW 4WD cars, to its rear-wheel-driven cars that feature an electro-mechanical differential like the one found in the X6. BMW has registered the names sDrive35, sDrive18, sDrive20 and sDrive30 with the US patent office and boxes of marketing material with sDrive on them need to be changed to update current the situation, whatever it may be.

It's understood sDrive is owned by tyre maker Yokohama, so perhaps a deal with BMW would be reached between them. These legal issues caused the delay of Z4's second coming, and now there's no certainty as to whether the car will debut in Detroit in January or Geneva 2009

To recap on the product itself, the 2009 BMW Z4 is to gain at least one new, unknown engine as is BMW tradition when debuting a new model, possibly a diesel derivative or a small four cylinder petrol turbo. What is expected are current petrol powerplants in the form of 2.0-litre, 2.5-litre, 3.0-litre, 3.0-litre twin turbo and M Power's 309kW 4.0-litre V8.

This teaser video shows none of these things, just art and a date, 15 December 2008. Make of it what you will, perhaps it will give you as much hope as it has us.