When it comes to small sports cars, BMW is a bit schizophrenic.
The Bavarian carmaaker started with the retro Z3, switched to the avant grade first-generation Z4, and then decided to go in a more luxurious direction with the current Z4.
What will BMW think of next? Apparently, the Z4’s successor will once again emphasize performance over luxury, but in keeping with tradition, it won’t be quite like anything that’s come before.
According to Automobile Magazine, the new model will arrive in 2018 and wear a Z5 badge. It will be based on the same platform as the forthcoming Toyota Supra successor, as part of an ongoing collaboration between BMW and the Japanese carmaker.
The Z5 will reportedly adopt a more radical front-mid-engine layout for better weight distribution, and there will be less of that weight to distribute.
BMW will aim to get the Z5’s curb weight down, and will even ditch the current car’s retractable hardtop for a simpler soft top.
Power will be provided by BMW’s 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four in different states of tune. Versions with 190 horsepower, 245 hp, and 270 hp will reportedly be offered. Alternatively, BMW could stick a six-cylinder engine, or even a three-cylinder, under the hood.
However, BMW may also build a high-performance M version, using the 425-hp, twin-turbocharged inline-six from the 2015 M3 and M4.
Most recent news from BMW seems to involve mixing increasing amount of practicality and efficiency into the “Ultimate Driving Machine” stew, so it’s great to here about a forthcoming Bimmer with a personality that’s unquestionably dominated by performance.