BMW Is Faced With a Hard Decision As the Z4 Nears the End of its Life Cycle - story fullscreen Fullscreen

BMW Is Faced With a Hard Decision As the Z4 Nears the End of its Life Cycle

It’s been said that the BMW Z4 isn’t living up to sales expectations, and 2025 could be the end of the line

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BMW launched the new Z4, twinned with the Toyota Supra, in 2018 as a 2019 model, and since then its sales haven’t been spectacular – especially in the United States. After three years on the market, the Z4 has been good for sales figures that total 7,717 examples in the U.S., or an average of 2,572 examples sold per year. The best year was, of course, 2019 when sales hit 2,941. In Europe, on the other hand, the Z4 has been much more successful with sales of 9,681 examples in 2019 and 8,314 in 2020. Are these sales figures good enough to keep the Z4 on the market through the decade and, perhaps, enough for a new generation? Apparently not, as a new report claims that BMW is set to kill off the Z4 roadster in 2025.

BMW Is Faced With a Hard Decision As the Z4 Nears the End of its Life Cycle
- image 809460

For a niche market that’s occupied by very few cars, sales of 12,000-13,000 examples per year across Europe and America doesn’t sound bad, but when you consider that BMW was selling 10,000-12,000 examples of the Z4’s predecessor on the U.S. market alone in the mid-2000s, it’s safe to say that the Z4 probably isn’t living up to sales expectations. And, that’s exactly what the Spanish website Motor.es is reporting as the reason for BMW canceling the Z4 in mid-2025.

Toyota Supra and BMW Z4 Sales
  2019 2020 2021 Total
Toyota Supra U.S. 2,884 5,887 6,830 15,601
Toyota Supra EU 893 947 TBA 1,840
BMW Z4 U.S. 2,941 2,364 2,412 7,717
BMW Z4 EU 9,681 8,314 TBA 17,995
BMW Is Faced With a Hard Decision As the Z4 Nears the End of its Life Cycle
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A new report from Motor.ES claims that BMW is planning to discontinue the Z4 in 2025, and there may not be plans for a successor.

Either way, the good news is that BMW isn’t just going to let the Z4 die a slow miserable death. According to the report – which has yet to be confirmed, by the way – the Z4 will be updated in 2023 with a new look. It should be a basic mid-cycle update, though, so don’t expect anything too extreme. It should also be pointed out that with the Z4 launching for the 2019 model year, mid-2025 would make it seven years old, which would be about right for the end of its lifecycle. So, it’s not as if BMW is pulling the plug too soon. It is also understandable that sales aren’t good enough to warrant a replacement, but if sales suddenly spike post facelift, this report could become nothing more than a debunked rumor as BMW would have justifiable cause to usher in a new generation.

Will Toyota Also Kill Off the Supra?

2020 Toyota Supra
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With the Toyota Supra being built alongside the BMW Z4 in Magna Steyr’s Austria plant, there is a possibility that the Toyota Supra could also suffer the same fate.

There’s a catch, though, as the Toyota Supra has been way more successful than the Z4 since launch – at least in America, anyway. In fact, from 2019 through 2021, Toyota has sold a total of 15,601 examples of the Supra in America or about double that of the Z4 (7,884 more, to be precise). It’s a totally different and pretty embarrassing situation in Europe, though, where Toyota managed to sell just 893 examples of the Supra in 2019 and 947 examples in 2020. So, even if the BMW Z4 does live on beyond the middle of this decade, it’s possible that BMW could withdraw the Z4 from the U.S. market altogether while Toyota could withdraw the Supra from the EU market altogether.

BMW Is Faced With a Hard Decision As the Z4 Nears the End of its Life Cycle
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But, if BMW isn’t getting enough global sales for the Z4 to keep it alive beyond 2025, will Toyota be forced to make the same decision? With both models being built in the same factory, it’s quite possible that this is a two-for-one deal and killing off one could mean killing off the other.

BMW Z4 and Toyota Supra Specifications
BMW Z4 sDrive 30i BMW Z4 sDrive M40i Toyota GR Supra 2.0 Toyota GR Supra 3.0
Engine 2.0-liter Inline-Four 3.0-Liter Inline-Six 2.0-Liter Inline-Four 3.0-Liter Inline-Six
Transmission 8-Speed Automatic 8-Speed Automatic 8-Speed Automatic 8-Speed Automatic
Driveline RWD RWD RWD RWD
Horsepower 255 HP @ 5,000 RPM 382 HP @ 5,000 RPM 255 HP @ 5,000 RPM 382 HP @ 5,000 RPM
Torque 295 LB-FT @ 1,550 RPM 369 LB-FT @ 1,600 RPM 295 LB-FT @ 1,550 RPM 369 LB-FT @ 1,600 RPM
0-60 MPH 5.1 Seconds 3.8 Seconds 4.7 Seconds 3.7 Seconds
Top Speed 155 MPH 155 MPH 155 MPH 155 MPH
BMW Is Faced With a Hard Decision As the Z4 Nears the End of its Life Cycle
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With the Toyota Supra and BMW Z4 being built in the same factory on the same platform, it shouldn’t be any surprise that they aren’t all that different from one another outside of appearance. They both ride on the same platform, feature similar interiors, and have the same engines. The Z4 sDrive30i and GR Supra 2.0 share a 2.0-liter inline-four that is good for 255 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. The Z4 sDrive M40i and Supra 3.0 share a 3.0-liter inline-six that’s good for 382 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. Where they differ, however, is their on-road performance. The Supra and Z4 have an identical top speed of 155 mph but the Supra will win the sprint to 60 mph every time. The Supra 2.0 makes it to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds (0.4-seconds faster than the Z4 30i) while the Supra 3.0 makes the same sprint in 3.7 seconds, just 0.1-second faster than the Z4 M40i.

BMW Is Faced With a Hard Decision As the Z4 Nears the End of its Life Cycle
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That means the Z4 will only live to be seven years old, but it won’t die a slow miserable death.

Regardless of what happens, we’ll find out soon enough what the fate of the Z4 will be. The aforementioned update will happen in 2023 as scheduled and 2025 isn’t that far away. Now, we just have to wonder what will happen with the Toyota Supra.

Robert Moore
Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert - robert@topspeed.com
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read full bio
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