Published on August 21st, 2017 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
BMW’s all new Z4 will arrive just in time to take a top spot
BMW Group design chief Adrian van Hooydonk says the gorgeous all new Z4 concept “expresses the new BMW design language from all perspectives and in all details.”
“Stripping the car back to the essentials allows the driver to experience all the ingredients of motoring pleasure with supreme directness,” Hooydonk said in a statement. “This is total freedom on four wheels.”
The last Z4 went out of production in August 2016. BMW is working with Toyota to jointly develop the Z4’s replacement and a Toyota sports coupe speculated to be a revived Toyota Supra. The cars will use a new lightweight platform, and the next-generation Z4 is expected to grow in size.
The Concept Z4 has classic roadster design cues such as a long wheelbase, a low-slung and stretched silhouette and a compact rear end. But a shorter hood and “crisp” overhangs in the wedge-shaped concept put the driver closer to the center of the car than in previous BMW roadsters.
Europe’s premium convertible segment is on the rise as new models from Mercedes-Benz, Mini and Porsche help to revive a sector that had been in steady decline for 8 consecutive years. Demand grew last year by 18% to 134,113 units and in the first 5 months volume has risen by 8.7% to 67,285 cabriolets.
A big reason for the jump was the launch last June of the Mercedes C-class Cabriolet, which passed the BMW 2 series to become Europe’s best-selling premium convertible through May. It also finished the period as Europe’s No. 1 cabriolet overall after it easily outsold its closest volume competitor, the Fiat 500C, by more than 1,000 units. Mercedes’ success is in marked contrast to the decline in demand for convertibles from volume brands. Sales in that niche have tumbled by more than 70 percent since 2007.