SYDNEY: BMW has announced the company plan to introduce the new Z4 successor before the end of the decade, the company’s chief engineer has revealed.
Speaking to Automotive News Europe at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, Klaus Fröhlich BMW head of development expressed his desire to launch a replacement for the BMW Z4 before 2020, acknowledging the Bavarian company could share development costs with the Japanese automaker Toyota as part of the ongoing collaboration between the two.
Fröhlich went on to specify the segment for two-seater roadsters is shrinking and that the world’s largest car market, China, is “not interested in roadsters.”
Buyers in the west have also lost interest in convertibles over the past decade, he said, pointing to BMW Z4 sales reduced by 11 percent in Europe last.
According to recent production rumours, the BMW Z4 replacement will be named the Z5. The new roadster will likely be built around a carbon fibre tub in a similar fashion to the i3 and i8.
The new BMW Z5 will likely feature a retractable soft top roof. A hard top or coupe variant could be released at a later date if sales of the car are strong enough.
If all goes according to plan, the BMW Z5 and Toyota‘s version will be out around 2017, well ahead of BMW’s 2020 target date.