BMW Wants a Bigger Piece of Roadster Market, Plans to Introduce Z1, Z3 and Z5 Models

Rumors about a return of the Z1 and Z3 monikers have been around for quite a while, with a possible Z5 to be added to the BMW range close behind. However, none of them seemed to be making sense up until now. What changed our perspective? The withdrawal of the Coupe and Roadster MINIs from production.
BMW Z4 1 photo
Photo: BMW
How do you figure? You might say. Well, the latest rumors coming in from Spanish media outlet, claim that the Z1 and Z3 models might be featuring front-wheel drive setups. ‘That still doesn’t say much’.

Going even further with the line of thought, if the report proves to be true, the Z1 would replace the Roadster perfectly, being built on the same UKL platform shared by current models in both BMW and MINI’s line-ups.

Moreover, the new car would also be built in Coupe guise to offer an alternative to all possible tastes. The engines used would be focused on 3-cylinder and 4-cylinder mills with low power outputs. That low count on horsepower would be offset by a lightweight construction thanks to CFRP and aluminum.

The revival of the Z3 name

The original Z3 was in production during the last years of the 1990s. Back then people hurried to criticize it for its design, especially for the Coupe version that was quickly dismissed as a ‘Clown Shoe’.  The new model would be filling a gap between the aforementioned Z1 and the upcoming Z5. It would also use the 35up platform and will, therefore, be a little bigger in size, sending its power to the rear wheels.

As far as the design goes, the same long bonnet will be kept along with short overhangs. A textile roof would be used for lower weight on the Roadster and rumor has it that a Coupe would also show up.

The engines line-up would vary by a bigger amount, from 3-cylinder mills to 4-cylinder and even 6-cylinder versions.

The introduction of the Z5

At the top of the ‘Z food chain’ there would be the Z5, a completely new model that would be going up against more famous roadsters from the line-ups of such companies like Porsche and Mercedes-Benz.

This model would be using inline 6-cylinder plants and will be the one to introduce the results of the research conducted by BMW in collaboration with Toyota.

Taking on Porsche’s 911 and AMG’s GT model, the new car will be available both in roadster and Coupe versions, the latter being scheduled to feature a 2+2 configuration. That means the rear seats won’t be usable.

On the power and weight front, BMW i8 technology will be used along with electric motors and batteries from Toyota. The top of the range model will have over 500 HP thanks to hybrid tech and will be an M model.
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