Don't be surprised if the Z4 becomes the Z5. There's good reason why.
By now, readers should be familiar with the BMW-Toyota joint development partnership to build new sports cars for each brand. Toyota will more than likely revive the Supra nameplate in the near future. But what about BMW? What will it get out of the deal? Automobile Magazine seems to believe it’ll be the Z5 (as in a Z4 replacement). So that everyone is aware, the Z4 is built on the previous-gen 3 Series' now outdated platform.
With a debut expected in 2017, the Z5 will once again be a roadster, only this time it’ll ditch the retractable hard top in favor of a soft top in order to conserve weight (Toyota's car will have a fixed roof). The Z5 will feature a "more radical front-mid-engine bias" than the Z4 as well. Expect power to come from a 2.0-liter turbo four that’ll have various degrees of tuning, starting with 190 hp. Optional upgrades will be 245 and 270 hp, while a possible Z5 M could produce as much as 425 hp thanks to the new M3/M4’s twin-turbo straight-six. Transmissions will include an eight-speed automatic or a six-speed manual. All told, BMW has a Z5 target weight of 3,300 lbs. More details are expected in the next few months.