So what does BMW have in mind?
Ever since BMW and Toyota their joint partnership to engineer a new sports car platform, most of us fairly assumed the final production versions would be called the Z5 and Supra, respectively. While this may be the case for the Toyota, what AutoGuide has just confirmed is that BMW's version won't be called the Z5. "There will be a sports car, yes, but it's not going to be a Z5. That's something that someone else has made up," stated BMW Americas chief Ludwig Willisch. So, if Z5 isn't being used, what will BMW's Z4 successor be named?
"It will be called Z…probably 4," Willisch continued when asked for more details. "I would call it a Z4 (and) that's no indication of the number of cylinders." We can probably translate that latter quote to mean an inline-six will be at least one engine option. Willisch also didn't clarify whether or not the upcoming sports car will feature hybrid technology, which is actually Toyota's area of expertise. More than likely, the reborn Supra will, while the BMW (Z4?) will continue to offer conventional gas-powered engines, at least for the time being. Another issue AutoGuide brought up with Willisch is whether or not a manual gearbox will be on offer.
Unfortunately, the BMW boss refused to directly answer, only reiterating what we already knew, that the take rate for manuals has dropped significantly. "If the customers don't want it, we don't have to offer it," Willisch clarified. Expect to see the arrival of both sports car hopefully later this year.