This Is BMW's Next-Gen Z4 Concept

We already knew what it would be powered by, but now we know what it might look like.

BMW Group

On Tuesday, we got a little peep show of the upcoming Z4, but nothing more, with BMW only showing the roadster's contours and headlights. As of Thursday, BMW has shown off the concept more fully in a press release, with a series of concept shots meant to inform the overall styling direction. The concept is being showcased in advance of this year's Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance on August 20, where BMW will be showing off a concept for the revival of their range-topping 8 series coupe, which has already been spied testing at the Nurburgring.

Rather than try to make head or tail of the bucket of design jargon terms delivered alongside the Z4's concept rendering, the most eye-glazing of which are a statement of unbridled driving pleasure and exterior and interior in unison, let's have a refresher on some of the things we know about the new Z4 and its Toyota twin, the Supra, shall we?

We learned earlier this month that both inline four- and six-cylinder engine choices will be made available, and that of the two, only the Z4 would receive the option of a manual transmission. Engine options will remain almost identical, however, with predicted power figures as high as 320 horsepower from the B58B30 engine.

What else can we discern from the concept images? Well, between those and June's spy shots of the Supra at the Nurburgring, we can tell some things about what the car's final design will be. Both the Z4 concept and the camouflaged Supra feature thin eyebrows for taillights, supporting a ducktail trunk spoiler. Like previous Z4s, this concept features roll hoops aft of the headrests, though the concept's headrests are mildly buttressed, akin to a car like the Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Speedster. Whether or not the buttresses will be kept is up for speculation, but the roll hoops are a definite.

Because of heavy pre-production camouflage on the Supra, little can be discerned about the car's front end. Despite that, the great dissimilarity between the headlight and front bumper designs mean that we can assume that the bodywork between the Supra and Z4 will still differ, unlike Toyota's 86 sports coupe, where the most noticeable difference between an FR-S and a BRZ was the badge.

We may or may not see more camouflaged test mules before the production design for the Z4 is finalized, but one this is for sure: when the wraps come off at some to-be-determined auto show in the next couple of years, debates over the car's styling is going to cause a ruckus.