The exterior looks fantastic, but the cabin is bizarre.
After copious speculation, the BMW Z4 Concept finally gives us a real hint about what the upcoming roadster looks like. The orange droptop will brighten the Concept Lawn of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance for its only North American public showing on Sunday, August 20.
“The BMW Concept Z4 expresses the new BMW design language from all perspectives and in all details,” Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design, said in the roadster’s announcement. “From the dynamic- looking front to the striking flanks to the clean-cut tail end: a few lines and the subtle interplay between surfaces are enough to generate a sense of power and emotion.”
BMW says that the Z4 Concept takes inspiration from the company’s past roadsters, but there’s nothing retro about this shape. In fact, the design team moves away from some of the firm’s traditional styling cues. For example, the vertically oriented headlights diverge from the horizontal layout that’s generally the norm for the German brand’s vehicles. In addition, rather than bars in the kidney grille, there’s an intricately shaped mesh.
Up front, the roadster features a fascia that appears to float below the hood. A V-shaped piece of carbon fiber dominates the center section and lends a visual flourish with the body-color sections on each side. The fascia’s angular design contrasts with the long, clamshell hood’s rounded shape. Long slits keep things from appearing too boring.
Gallery: BMW Z4 Concept: Pebble Beach Concours
Gills behind each wheel create contours that run up each side. A hard crease starts at the upper portion of these outlets and flows diagonally up the body until the taillights pick up this shape.
Nacelles are a common feature of modern roadster, but the Z4 Concept has a unique spin on them by leaving them open in the center. Plus, a gorgeous curve on the inside of each one pleases the eye.
Inside, the Z4 Concept is pretty weird. The driver’s side looks aggressive by being entirely black except for some metallic trim and red paddle shifters. A digital instrument cluster and wide infotainment display are the same height so that a person has all of these details easily within his/her vision. However, the concept’s passenger side is a shade of light brown leather that matches the Energetic Orange Frozen exterior paint. The bi-color layout creates an odd effect visually because it appears that the cabin comes from two different vehicles.
BMW doesn’t offer any powertrain details about the Z4 Concept, but a recent leak hints at what motivates the production model. In the United States, customers would be able to choose from an entry-level four cylinder with 195 horsepower (145 kilowatts), a 248-hp (185 kW) four banger, and an inline six with 335 hp (250 kW). Z4 buyers will be able to get a manual or automatic gearbox, unlike the potentially auto-only Toyota Supra.
“The attention-grabbing design study offers a look ahead to the series-production version of the car set to be unveiled over the course of next year,” according to BMW’s release. The concept at least tells us that the road-going model should look good.
Gallery: BMW Z4 Concept
BMW Unveils World Premiere of the BMW Concept Z4 and the North American Premiere of the BMW Concept 8 Series.
Head of BMW Design and Retiring BMW of North America President to Race in The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion.
Pebble Beach, CA – August 17, 2017 10:00am PST...
BMW today unveiled two concept vehicles during its annual Monterey Car Week Press Conference at the Lodge at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance Reviewing Stand. The first concept car unveiled is the BMW Concept 8 Series that was first shown at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in May. The second is the World Premiere of the BMW Concept Z4. Both concepts are previews of the series production cars set to be revealed over the course of next year.
The BMW Concept Z4 Roadster is sporty and progressive BMW design study encapsulating the BMW Group’s vision of a modern roadster. According to Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design, “The concept expresses the new BMW design language from all perspectives and in all details. From the dynamic-looking front to the striking flanks to the clean-cut tail end: a few lines and the subtle interplay between surfaces are enough to generate a sense of power and emotion.”
The BMW Concept Z4 Roadster adopts classical roadster design cues, such as a long wheelbase, a low-slung, stretched silhouette and a compact rear end, wraps them in a fresh, confident package and enriches them with the contemporary BMW design language. A shorter bonnet and crisp overhangs ensure the driver sits closer to the center of the car than in previous BMW roadsters. This gives the new proportions a focused, sporty and agile feel. The outline of the car follows a distinct wedge shape, which fills the BMW Concept Z4 with dynamism before it even pulls away. The large domes stretching out rearwards from the cabin elegantly integrate the function of rollover bars and provide a sporting conclusion to the low-to-the-road silhouette at the rear.
After an eighteen year hiatus, the ‘8 Series’ name returns to the BMW portfolio with the BMW Concept 8 Series that serves as a preview of a forthcoming BMW model – the new BMW 8 Series Coupe, slated for launch in 2018. “The number 8 and cars like the Z8 Roadster and i8 have represented the pinnacle of sports performance and exclusivity at BMW,” explains Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG Harald Krüger. “The forthcoming BMW 8 Series Coupe will demonstrate that razor-sharp dynamics and modern luxury can go hand-in-hand. This will be the next model in the expansion of our luxury-car offering and will raise the benchmark for coupes in the segment. In the process, we will strengthen our claim to leadership in the luxury class.”
The BMW Concept 8 Series is immediately recognizable as a BMW, but also displays new design ideas and form-building techniques. “The design of the BMW Concept 8 Series provides a fresh interpretation of iconic BMW styling cues,” adds van Hooydonk. “And it also showcases a new approach to the use of forms which is reflected particularly prominently in the car’s surfacing. A handful of crisp lines mark out clear surfaces, and the car’s volumes are powerfully sculpted. Together, these elements make a forceful statement and create a model brimming with character. In short, this is a driver’s car.”
The BMW Concept 8 Series will be shown publicly at The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering on Friday, August, 18th and on the Concept Lawn at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance on Sunday August 20th. The World Premiere BMW Concept Z4 Roadster will have its only North American public showing on the Concept Lawn of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance on Sunday August, 20th.
In addition to the various concours d’elegance activities, BMW will once again run two classic race cars in the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion this year driven by notable drivers. The famous #25 1975 BMW 3.0 CSL IMSA Group 4 will, one last time, be driven by retiring BMW of North America President Ludwig Willisch as a retirement gift from BMW. Meanwhile the #21 1972 ALPINA BMW 2002ti will be raced by none other than Adrian van Hooydonk, BMW Group Head of Design. Both cars will race in Group 4A on Saturday August 19th.
The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion this year celebrates the 60th anniversary of Laguna Seca raceway and BMW is honored to be displaying its #42 BMW V12 LMR for the 60 years display tent. In the seven races in which it competed during 1999 season, the BMW V12 LMR dominated with 10 podiums and five victories including the1999 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 1999 12 Hours of Sebring and the Monterey Sports Car Championship at Laguna Seca. In total, there are only four V12 LMRs in existence of which one was the basis for the fifteenth BMW Art Car created by American Artist Jenny Holzer.