Imagine this, you’re driving down a twisty, winding road, in a convertible BMW with the top down, wind in your hair and in your ears, and the sound of…nothing because you’re driving a hybrid. Sounds pretty awful, right? Well don’t worry because BMW isn’t making a hybrid convertible, at least until the i8 goes topless. BMW has officially stated that six, inline cylinders will drive the upcoming Z4 replacement. This is good news. The Bavarians have always made wonderful I-6 engines; with smooth, buttery powerbands and lovely, growling exhaust notes.
The engine in question, code named B58, will be a 3.0-liter, turbocharged I-6 that will put out around 335 horsepower and 324 pound-feet of torque. Combine that with an estimated curb weight of around 3,084 pounds, and you’ve got one hell of a convertible sports car. Rumor also has it that this car will be developed together with Toyota and its upcoming Supra replacement. Based on the success of the Toyobaru twins and all of the success BMW’s had developing sports cars, I cannot see this car being anything other than fantastic.
This is a whole new line of engines from BMW. It’s in the same “Efficient Dynamics” engine family that its newly released, 1.5-liter, three-cylinder and 2.0-liter. four-cylinder engines are from. This engine is also rumored to debut in the upcoming 7 Series replacement, and should trickle down into the 3 Series and 5 Series cars shortly after. It’s also good to see Bimmer sticking with six-cylinder engines. Many automakers have been ditching sixes for turbo-fed fours, and while the turbo fours pack quite a punch, they lack in emotion and excitement compared to sixes. So while the Z4 might eventually get the familiar 2.0-liter turbo four as well, it’s refreshing to see BMW also offer an I-6.
Click past the jump to read more about the BMW Z4 successor.
Why It Matters
The current Z4 is kind of an odd car. It’s not bad but it’s not very good either. It’s getting a bit long in the tooth, especially compared with newcomers like the Mercedes -Benz SLK and the fantastic, new Porsche Boxster. So it’s time for an update, and this new Z4 replacement seems to have all the ingredients to take on the best from Stuttgart.
To stay in the convertible sports car game, BMW is going to have to deliver a grand slam and with those kinds of specs, it seems like they just might be able to. Hopefully BMW can use what it’s learned from making the M3/M4 chassis and apply it to this, like the use of CFRP (Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic), magnesium and aluminum, as well as the new power steering system.
This could also mean big things for Toyota. If Toyota is co-developing this car, it’s not ridiculous to think they could share engines. A Toyota Supra with a BMW turbo I-6 sounds like an awesome recipe to me.