BMW 8 Series Concept Makes North American Debut At Pebble Beach

Friday, 18 Aug, 2017

BMW has teamed up with Toyota for the development of the new chassis for the 2018 Z4.

BMW may have stopped producing the Z4 roadster previous year, but at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance this weekend, the German vehicle maker will showcase a glimpse at the future of its successor.

For more than a year, we've seen teasers and spy shots of the next-generation BMW Z4 convertible. It appears BMW is aiming wider and lower for the new Z4; the previewed prototype features a flat hood, wide wheel arches and a wide stance. Which would be interesting.

BMW is offering a sneak peek of its next two-seat sports auto, and it's beaut.

It's rumoured that both BMW and Toyota will deploy a petrol-electric version using BMW's four-cylnder turbocharged petrol engine with electric motors on the front axle fed by supercapacitors. Caution is advised due to this car's concept status, but if the design seen here is anything to go by, expect a bold new look when the 2018 Z4 is officially revealed. The overall effect is one of lithe aggression and should suit the Z4 perfectly with a low shark-nosed front-end that rises in a wedge shape to the muscular rear haunches.

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In true concept auto fashion the form and details are exaggerated to nearly cartoonish proportions but according to BMW Senior Vice President Group Design, Adrian Van Hooydonk, the Concept Z4 follows the recent 8 Series Concept and "expresses the new BMW design language...from the dynamic-looking front to the striking flanks and clean-cut tail end". These, BMW says, are meant to "spark deliberate associations" with the BMW Z8 - a niche model from the 1990s that now enjoys cult classic status.

The new Z4 should be more spacious than its predecessor (even though it's still a two-seater) because it's wider and the front and rear axles are set farther apart. Boot capacity is also claimed to top the 310 litres of the outgoing Z4.

The side view reveals a new take on a roadster's proportions. The next-gen model will reportedly receive a manual transmission.

True to tradition, the three initial Z4 models retain the rear-wheel-drive layout that has been part of the two-seat roadster's appeal since its introduction in 2002.