BMW Drops Plans for Z2 Sports Roadster
When BMW did a management change and brought in new chairman Harald Krüger and new R&D chief Klaus Fröhlich, each and every project the brand was working on suddenly had to go through a new vetting process. Some survived and others did not. One that didn’t was the Z2 Roadster.
Rumors of the Z2 had been swirling since 2011, and it was beginning to look more certain that Bimmer was going to build this front-driven MX-5 modelwith each passing year. Well, here we are in the middle of 2015, and BMW has officially canceled it.
The only logical explanation for BMW aborting this project is that the nearly approved Mini Superleggera — also owned by BMW – will play in the same segment. Both the BMW Z2 and the Mini Superleggera being available at the same time could seriously clog up this niche segment, and leave both models out in the cold.
Most reports indicated that the Z2 would sit atop the same platform as the Bimmer 1-Series, 2-Series, and the Mini Cooper. This also meant that it would share its range of three- and four-cylinder engines with its platform mates.
While it’s sad to see the mini Z4 die, I can certainly understand the business side of the decision to axe it. Let us know in the comments what you think of BMW deciding against this small, front-driven roadster.
Continue reading for the full story.
Why it matters
Honestly, I don’t feel that any front-wheel-drive roadster has a shot in hell at competing with the MX-5. People who buy the MX-5 are looking for that natural sports-car feeling that can only come when the power heads to the rear wheels only. That on-the-edge feeling that a tail-happy sports car gives is almost unmatchable by a front-wheel-drive model.
A great example of a front-wheel-drive roadster failing miserably at competing against the MX-5 is the soon-to-be-discontinued Mini Roadster. Mini seems to think the problem with its Roadster is the fact that the Roadster is too much like the other Mini models, but I think it is the fact that few MX-5 buyers will be happy with a front-wheel-drive roadster.
You can read our speculative review of the Z2 Roadster here.