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BMW Z4 Super Rendering Pays Tribute to Classic Z8 Roadster, Shows BMW the Light

They say the universe needs balance. One way to obtain it would be by keeping everything level, but that would be boring as hell, so instead, it'll simply alternate between highs and lows.
BMW Z4 Super rendering 27 photos
Have you seen the latest electric models unveiled by Chevrolet? Both the Silverado pickup and the Equinox crossover look nothing short of stunning. Compare their design to that of the Bolt, Chevrolet's previous lonely EV, and they mark a clear leap in quality, coherence, and all-around sexiness. So, if Chevrolet is on a high, the law of averages tells you some other brand's designs must be plummeting toward the bottom of an abyss. Who could that be?

How's this for a clue: it comes from Bavaria, and it isn't Audi. Yup, it's BMW, and it's currently struggling to find a new visual identity for its cars – one that isn't completely hideous, at least. It feels like the harder it tries, the further down the chasm it falls and the more difficult it's going to be to climb back up again.

Well, that doesn't necessarily have to be the case. Yes, the latest designs have been one miss after another, but all it takes is for one new model to hit home, and everything could be forgotten. Sorry, I meant "forgiven" since I doubt anyone will be able to forget the absolute mess that was the Concept XM.

The best way to save face when in a dire situation like this is to release a sports car. Everyone loves those – even if they don't necessarily flock to buy them anymore – and it takes a colossal amount of effort to make one look bad. It's one of the simplest recipes: low and wide silhouette, long hood, short overhangs, small cabin pushed to the back – it's been done for years with very little changes.

In fact, BMW has done it before and, despite its deceiving name, this so-called Z4 rendering (coming courtesy of Valerio Vessella) doesn't do such a great job of hiding the inspiration it took from that model. I'm talking about the wonderful Z8, the car famously penned by designer turned eco-entrepreneur Henrik Fisker.

This modern interpretation keeps the recipe for simplicity introduced by the early 2000s model as well as its predilection for rounded surfaces and curved lines. The digital Z4 lacks the Jaguar E-Type-inspired rear the Z8 had staying truer instead to the vehicle it takes its name after. That's definitely unfortunate since an updated take on those lines would have probably lifted the overall impression even higher.

Most of you will be glad to know the author of this rendering thinks there is still time for a gasoline-powered Z car from BMW. If the endless hood wasn't a clear-enough giveaway, then the twin side exhausts lift any doubts that might still be lingering. However, it was never the powertrain or the handling that was an issue with BMWs – and neither was the exterior design until recently, to be fair.

BMW needs to do something, and the sooner it does it, the better. I remember the Bangle era when everyone was calling for the American designer's head but even this is just early doors, it feels like there's a serious crisis brewing in Munich. They need to steer the ship clear of the iceberg it's currently headed toward or find someone that can do it for them, or BMW could be entering a period of decline. Someone high in the organization needs to swallow their pride, admit they were wrong, and start doing the right thing again. This Z4 would be the right thing, but there are a lot of other possibilities out there.

Editor's note: BMW Z8 roadster pictured in the gallery


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