BMW Announces Possible FWD Z2 Model
So, according to autocar.co.uk, BMW is looking to create a smaller sports car, more in the spirit of the highly-successful original Z3. Worth noting is the fact that the car could cost as little as the equivalent of £15,000, because it will share its front-wheel drive platform with the next MINI and as many as 23 BMW and MINI models from 2014 onward.
According to an unnamed official source, BMW is “considering a car in the spirit of the original Z3 [. . .] It is of similar size to the E36/7 [the codename for the Z3 produced between 1996 and 2002] but is planned to use the front-wheel drive platform to keep costs down and achieve a margin level that ensures it is sustainable at comparatively low production volumes.”
It would probably also share its engine range with the next MINI, and it may also get all-wheel drive as an option. The top of the range model could get an all-new aluminium block 2.0-liter turbo engine, with as much as 300 hp - this is the version which will definitely get all-wheel drive.
A different source, from the engineering department of BMW said: “We are moving with the times to diversify our customer base [. . .] There is no reason why a front-wheel-drive car can’t offer a similar dynamic experience to a rear-wheel-drive car. The advancement of various driving aids, with features such as electronic differentials, virtually eliminates the influence of drive forces on the steered wheels when done properly.”
However, while BMW say this could be a spiritual successor to the Z3, we say it can never possibly fill those shoes, simply because it is not rear-wheel driven. The closest equivalent we could come up with was a modern (and Germanic) interpretation of the very talented Lotus Elan of the 1990s.