BMW Z Series

BMW Z Series

The BMW -Toyota partnership is beginning to take shape with more news about what’s in store from this marriage. Rumors have circulated since the two automakers announced the partnership back in January 2013, a lot of which have centered on the revival of the Toyota Supra and the development of the next-generation BMW Z4. But Automobile is reporting that the next BMW Z4 won’t be the fruit of the Bavarian automaker’s collaboration with its Japanese counterpart. Instead, it will be a Z4 replacement that will be called the Z5.

The Z5 will first arrive in concept form next year, around the same time Toyota introduces its own concept sports car. Unlike the Toyota concept, which is rumored to come as a hardtop coupe, the Z5 will begin its life as a roadster, albeit one that uses a classic soft top instead of a retractable hard top. It does seem that BMW is developing the Z5 as more of a replacement model to the Z4 instead of billing it as a successor.

As such, the Z5 is expected to come with its own identity independent of the Z4, including a new sports car architecture similar to what Toyota will use on the revived Supra sports coupe. BMW is even targeting the Z5 to weigh around 3,300 pounds, right around the same weight as the Z4.

Note: BMW Zagato Roadster pictured here.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2018 BMW Z5.

The news about Toyota and BMW building cars together isn’t new, as the two companies finalized the partnership in January of 2013, but thanks to the Nikkei Asian Review, we’ve got some rumors as to what the two companies have been working on. Those plans revolve around the next-generation BMW Z4 and a revival of the famed Toyota Supra .

The Nikkei reports the two cars will share the same platform, manufacturing processes, and parts procurements. The two sports cars , however, won’t be sharing the same body style and will be sold under their respective brands. What’s more, these two cars could debut as early as 2017.

The report speculates whether Toyota would be able to adopt the same carbon-fiber-extensive construction style BMW has recently adopted, citing cost as the limiting factor. However, with the falling cost of carbon fiber and its exploding popularity, the material might be within Toyota’s reach. This is especially true for such a specialized sports car as the Supra.

The Nikkei report lacks further juicy details about the partnership or its planed products, but news seems rather certain. The 2017 date is still tentative, but the possibility still remains.

As far as powertrains, it’s anybody’s guess as to what will be found under hood. Perhaps BMW will provide a TwinPower, inline six-cylinder or maybe each automaker will supply its own powerplants. Only time will tell. One thing is for sure, with BMW and Toyota partnered together, the future looks bright with the addition of two exciting sports cars.

Click past the jump to read more about the future Supra and the current Z4

There are a lot of special-edition BMW models in Japan. Don’t ask us why that’s the case but something about that market really speaks to the Bavarian automaker. We’re admittedly jealous about this fact, more so now that another special-edition Bimmer — a Z4 , no less! — is headed to the Asian.

It’s called the BMW Z4 sDrive 20i GT Spirit and it looks downright gorgeous. The model is exclusively earmarked for the Japanese market as BMW’s way of celebrating the BMW Sports Trophy team’s one-two finish in the Super GT series. Care to guess what car the team was racing in? Yep, a BMW Z4 GT3 .

That’s the reason why BMW has allocated all 60 units of the Z4 sDrive 20i GT Spirit for Japan at a price of 6.090 million yen — close to $60,000 as of 7/8/2014. No other country will get these cars, which again is making us really jealous. Care to spare a few here in America, BMW?

The list of modifications for this special-edition Z4 are limited to cosmetic upgrades, some of which actually pay homage to the Z4 GT3 race car. The Alpine White body is the same as the race car with the tri-color M graphics also making an appearance in the front section of the Z4.

Those are just the start of the exclusive touches given to this particular Z4. There’s plenty more in there that really brings out the best in this special-edition model.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW Z4 sDrive 20i GT Spirit.

Rumors of a possible BMW two-seat roadster , dubbed the Z2 , have been swirling for some time now. But with BMW launching one new model after another, talks about the Z2 have been relegated to low whispers. But don’t misinterpret inaction for dead action because BMW still has plans for the Z2, as it has released new details that ought to give us a fresh idea on what to expect from the entry-level roadster .

According to Car and Driver, the Z2 will carry a slew of features unique to the Z4 , including the use of a fabric roof that should help reduce the weight of the sports car . That’s an important characteristic to have in light of another new detail that’s pretty disappointing; the Z2 will come standard in front-wheel drive, which won’t generate the kind of performance and agility as an AWD system.

But its not like the Z2 loses its charm with that shortcoming. After all, BMW is preparing the car to serve a specific purpose and trying to do too much could impede its true identity as an entry-level sports car . The car will share its platform with the new Mini lineup, which adds more credence to the belief that the Z2 will be built with weight savings in mind. This will allow BMW to offer a versatile package to complement the expected choice of four-cylinder engines.

The company has given no indication on the powertrain it plans to use in the Z2, but we’d be surprised if it doesn’t stick to its plans to use a four banger engine that produces between 160 and 230 horses. We could also see as many as 300 horses and all-wheel drive in the top-of-the-line M-Series model. BMW has some choices to make with regards to the engine lineup, but we’re confident it can cook something up from its modular engine architecture. A lot of options seem in play at this point.

According to the source, we can expect to see the Z2 in late 2016 or late 2017, with prices ranging from $30k in its base format to $50k for the AWD Z2 M.

Click past the jump to read more about the future BMW Z2.

Posted on by Simona  

BMW’s illustrious history began during World War I when the now-successful luxury car-builder developed fighter aircraft-engine. At the end of the WWI it switched to developing motorcycles, then in 1929, BMW bought its way into the car industry when it purchased the Dixi Car factory and started developing automobiles — some of its best were elegant roadsters.

The first roadster to roll out of Bimmer’s factory was the 315/1, which was based on the 315 saloon. From here, things evolved to the 328, which was one of the most successful roadster ever developed by BM and won the Mille Miglia in many times and the 1939 24 Hours of Le Mans .

After the WWII, BMW was in great trouble and it needed a car to rescue it, and BMW thought that car was the 507. It was indeed a great car, with one of the most gorgeous design languages in the era and a powerful engine under the hood. However, because of its high price — $10,500 — the 507 was almost responsible for putting the BMW into bankruptcy. Only 252 units were ever developed, despite BMW’s 5,000-units-per-year projection.

Next BMW started to develop the Z series, with the Z1 being the first model. What is very cool about the Z1 is that the doors drop down into the door sills so you can drive it with no doors. Next we had the Z3 , Z8 and the current Z4 . The black sheep of the family was the Z3 , which never really looked or felt like a BMW.

Check out the video (above) to get a closer look at Bimmer’s history of roadsters.

BMW Z4

BMW and Toyota recently signed an agreement that will bring the two companies new fuel-efficient technologies and at least two new sports cars: a new-generation Z4 sports car for Bimmer and a new-generation Supra for its Japanese partner in crime .

Rumors suggest that both the new Z4 and thenew Supra will be built on the same platform as the GT86 sports coupe. If these rumors turn out to be true, it will mean that the next Z4 will be a much more dynamic handling car than the current generation – not that the current generation is a slouch.

It has been also rumored that BMW is preparing a new V-6 hybrid system that will deliver about 400 horsepower, which is pretty big boost over the current 335 horsepower delivered by the most powerful Z4 version: the sDrive35is.

The new generation BMW Z4 is set to be unveiled in late 2015 as a 2016 model, so we will find out in a few years.

Source: e90post

While we are all waiting for the next-generation Z4 , it looks like BMW has slid in a refreshed version for the 2014 model year for good measure. The model has been caught testing in many times and now it will be making its world debut in January 2013 at the Detroit Auto Show.

BMW’s decision to update for the current generation Z4 Roadster shouldn’t be a big surprise to anyone. First, the current-gen Z4 has been on the market since 2009 and secondly, a final decision on a third-generation Z4 is still to be made.

Of course, the updates on the 2014 Z4 aren’t very impressive; in fact, the U.S. market will be the only one not receiving the biggest update — a new entry-level model that features a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine. Other updates will be limited to the exterior, and will include updated LED headlights and two new set of wheels… That’s pretty much it!

Updated 12/18/2012: This review has been updated with the official details, images and specs.

Updated 12/26/2012: BMW has unveiled two very cool video for their new Z4 Roadster set to be revealed in Detroit. The new video show the car in action, but also a few exterior and interior design elements.

BMW is playing what seems to be the Cupid Shuffle with a few of its Z variants. Rumors are circulating that state the company is planning on bringing back the Z3, amongst other changes in their Z lineup, but the information is not official and seems to be too confusing to grab hold of.

Let’s explain. The current Z-Series lineup consists of the lonely Z4 Roadster , but BMW definitely as plans to change that. Recently, we mentioned plans for the future Z2 model, but those plans are being diverted to another mode. Turns out, BMW was going to develop the Z2, but then changed their minds when they decided they need an entry level roadster. The Z2 got bumped onto the same UKL Matrix platform used for the 1-Series and the Mini models, making it more of a Z1 model. Once that slot was filled, BMW BMW then used the plans that had been intended for the grander Z2 and moved them on up to the new Z4 which will actually be the proposed Z3 . The current Z4 Roadster will remain the same, keeping its luxurious hardtop design in line with the current Z5 and making it a perfect candidate to give the Mercedes SLS AMG Roadster a run for its money.

Now for the recap. The future Z-Series line-up will include the Z1 entry level roadster, the premium Z3, and the luxury Z5. Now that we have broken down BMW’s plans, let’s hope they are actually confirmed in the near future.

Posted on by Matt McDonald 7

Building a roadster can give car manufacturers some unique opportunities. These types of vehicles typically have a devoted following and create their own rules outside of the constraints of many mainstream companies’ core product lines. They are able to test new technology and bend the rules of design in order to make a roadster look and feel like it belongs with everything else.

Roadsters are also a very specific formula of two-doors, lightweight components, and the thrill of open air driving. In a way, the first cars ever built were roadsters and the trend has continued throughout time with legendary models from Ford , Chrysler , and BMW. German brands were the last to catch on to the glory days of the roadster from the 1950s and BMW began producing its first back in 1989 with the Z1.

Many BMW fans may look at this moniker and thing, “does he mean M1?” No, we don’t mean the fantastic supercar that BMW built around the same time and has yet to be resurrected. The Z1 was the first in a line of two-seat roadsters that BMW produced and it proved a worthy test-bed for some BMW technology still used today.

Hit the jump for more details on the BMW Z1.

Posted on by Alexander + 9

Could BMW have a roadster up their sleeve? We can only hope so. The BMW Blog has announced that a BMW insider says they will revive the 2005 California Spyder Concept presented in Los Angeles in 2005. We caught wind of this a few days ago when we reported about Norbert Reithofer’s "Dream Project", which consisted of the BMW Spyder Stradale . This concept was used in the preview of the 2009 BMW Z6 that was talked about, but never brought to light. It seems BMW has been a lot of talk, but very little action so we are not sure if we can believe this next round of roadster rumors. Of course, we are going to indulge in them anyway.

BMW’s idea is to take the California Spyder concept and transform it into a premium eco-efficient roadster that will end up replacing the Z8 and share a platform with the production version of the ED Concept. This rendering of the BMW Spyder Stradale provided by Andrei Avarvarii is based on the original sketch released by BMW in 2005, but is freshened up a little in style. It leans more towards something that we could expect from the Bavarian manufacturer in 2014. The sculptured athletic body is a combination of a retro long bonnet silhouette with sharp modern lines that create aggressive air intakes. The lights pay a tribute to the Z8 , while the wheels show how the advanced design of those featured on the ED Concept could be turned into a production model.

We can only hope that the BMW Spyder Stradale is not just a ploy to get us talking about BMW. Quite frankly, we just want to see it in action.

Source: Andrei Avarvarii

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