News about BMW Z5 - Testing
If you ever had doubts that BMW had forgotten its peppy roadster convertible the Z4, then fret no more. The German auto giant has indeed been developing the successor to the Z4, likely be called the 'Z5' upon launch and was caught testing in Europe for the first time. In its prototype stage, the new generation convertible was all decked up with vinyl during the winter testing but managed to reveal a few details about the all-new model.
For starters, the heavily camouflaged prototype reveals the larger dimensions of the 2018 BMW Z5 that has grown wider than the outgoing version. The short overhangs have been retained while the wheelbase is likely to be marginally larger than the outgoing model. The hard top though has been replaced by a soft cover on the test mule, while we could also see the former enter production. It is too early to comment on the design language at this point, but we are certain that the Z5 will be getting an individual trait, differentiating itself from the other Bimmers in the company's stable.
What makes this more interesting is that new generation BMW Z5 and Toyota's next sports car (likely to get the Supra moniker) will be sharing the same underpinnings. BMW and Toyota first outlined their plans to jointly develop a mid-size sports car in 2013 and a concept phase was achieved in November 2014 after completing the technical feasibility study. Speculations have suggested that the automakers could use a carbon fibre tub similar to the i3 and i8 on the new sports cars for improved structural rigidity and weight savings.
Powertrain options are likely to include a new turbocharged four-cylinder petrol motor on the BMW Z5 that will be available in different states of tune while the conventional six-cylinder gasoline motor with a higher power output could feature on the range-topping version. A high-performance M version could also be part of the variants list with as much as 425hp on offer. In contrast, the Toyota sports car is likely to feature a hybrid motor coupled with a conventional four-cylinder engine.
With the plethora of upgrades, BMW will also get a chance to position the 2018 Z5 higher in the lineup as the model will be locking horns against the Jaguar F-Type, Porsche Boxster S, new generation Audi TT S and the likes. This also opens room for the rumoured Z2 roadster convertible that is said to be in the works. The new generation BMW Z5 is expected to be unveiled by late 2017 or in 2018 and will be coming to India as well.