BMW debuted the first fruit of its collaboration with Toyota, a reincarnated Z4 roadster, at Monterey Car Week on Thursday.
Sharing a platform and powertrain with the Toyota Supra, the sixth-generation Z4 is an attempt to revive a niche segment with waning sales, a move that could boost both companies.
“In a market where sports cars are really on the decline, it makes sense for automakers to join forces and collaborate to develop these niche models,” said Ed Kim, vice president of industry analysis at marketing research and consulting firm AutoPacific. “Working with Toyota likely slashes development costs by a lot, strengthening the business case to keep the Z4 in the lineup.”
Last year, BMW revealed the open-top two-seater in concept form at the annual classic car event in Pebble Beach, Calif. Now, a nearly a decade after the Z4’s last redesign, the next generation is preparing for production.
BMW’s Z roadster family, which debuted with the BMW Z1 in 1989, has been a niche performance line within the automaker’s portfolio. (Z stands for “zukunft,” the German word for “future.”)
The new Z4’s high-performance M Sport variant features a 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine and a 0-to-60 time under 4.4 seconds. It comes with the high-performance badge’s sport suspension with electronically controlled dampers and braking system.