It’s the end of the road for the second-gen roadster (E89) which went into production back in 2009 and bowed out on Monday. The very last unit was an sDrive35is model painted in they very attractive Valencia Orange Metallic hue. It was BMW’s last production car fitted with the reputable inline-six turbo N54 3.0-liter engine which among other models propelled the hugely desirable 1 Series M Coupe limited edition.
While demand for hardtops has plummeted in recent years, we are still sad to see the Z4 retire, but at least we can take comfort in knowing BMW is hard at work preparing to fill the void with a new model co-developed with Toyota. Tentatively called Z5 (codenamed G29), the new model will eschew the metal roof in favor of a more popular soft top which will shave off weight and enable a more spacious trunk.
An official reveal of the Z5 roadster is expected to occur in the latter half of 2017, with production programmed to kick off in 2018 at Magna Steyr’s factory in Graz, Austria where Toyota’s version will also come to life. The cars are expected to use BMW engines, with the exception of a range-topping hybrid variant which is said to use a Toyota-developed powertrain. That being said, the latter might still use a BMW engine teamed up with Toyota’s hybrid tech.
BMW’s flagship version of the car is unlikely to be a full-blown M model because the rumor mill indicates the new droptop will not receive the M treatment which frankly seems rather odd. After all, the Z5 M would make a lot more sense than the existing X5 M and X6 M, wouldn’t it?
There was a report a while ago indicating the BMW Z5 Roadster or whatever it will be called is going to be joined later in the life cycle by a fixed-roof coupe, but it’s too soon to say whether it will actually happen since BMW is being quite secretive about the Z4 successor.