We Spied The New BMW Z5 Trying To Learn How To Be A Toyota Supra

Spy Shots

The Z4 needed more excitement and hopefully Supra badges will help with that.

In a segment with popular residents such as the Alfa Romeo 4C and the Jaguar F-Type, the BMW Z4 has always been a bit of an oddball. With two seats, a front mounted engine, and power being sent to the back wheels, it’s undoubtedly a sports car. But unlike its competitors, BMW didn’t seem like it was trying hard when it built the Z4. Not that the Z4 is bad, but it isn't exactly the most exciting Bimmer and the appeal of its competitors far outclasses it. BMW has been fine with that reality for a long time, but the winds of change may be blowing in the direction of a revolution.

Unfortunately, we have just spied its soft-top replacement, likely to be named the Z5, out testing. We say "unfortunately" because at first glance nothing seems to be new. Given its lack of excitement, the test mule's design makes us think this will be more a refreshed Z4 than a new Z5. Despite the camouflage we can see the body lines, or lack thereof, and we can’t help but wish for something a bit more appealing to the eye. Its conservative design could be due to input from Toyota since the Japanese automaker will (hopefully) be taking the coupe version of the car and slapping “Supra” badges on it. Another possibility that we’re hoping for is that BMW took money away from the design team and gave it to the engineers.

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The roadster is ditching its folding hard top for a soft top which should cut weight. What we really do like are the protruding rear lights. If you’re going to add attitude to any part of a car it may as well be the angle that racing opponents will see the most. We can’t wait to find out if the camouflage is hiding a gorgeous face underneath, but for now we can at least get happy about what will lie behind the grille. That will most likely be a choice of a four-cylinder or an inline-six borrowed from BMW’s lineup. We hope that one of the M-branded engines will make the final cut as well. All will be revealed in 2019 when the Z5 goes on sale.