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Rendering: BMW Z2 Roadster Comes to Life

The rumor mill is currently at full speed in regard to future BMWs and the Z2 is a big part of it. After the 507 Roadster, BMW wanted to continue making open top cans of fun and continued with the Z Series.
BMW Z2 Rendering 3 photos
BMW Z2 RenderingBMW Z2 Rendering
However, not all of them were the success the company was aiming for. Actually, none of them broke any sales records or brought huge amounts of fans to the brand. They mostly did well but nothing extraordinary.

The first Z model was the Z1, launched back in 1989 that had a lot of unconventional technology infused in it. The body was made of removable panels made from plastic that could be removed completely from the chassis, making it extremely customizable.

The doors were made of a material called thermoplastic and they used to retract down into the car’s body instead of swinging to the sides or upwards. However, this eye-catching feature forced the side sills to go up a bit, making getting in and out of the car a bit of a pain.

Engines were derived from the E30 3 Series line-up just like the chassis was too. You had only one engine available, a 2.5-liter inline 6-cylinder unit making 170 HP and 222 Nm (164 lb-ft) of torque hooked up to a 5-speed manual gearbox.

After that came the Z3 that had yet another.... interesting design. Because of its sloping lines in the middle of the body and the long bonnet, the car was called a ‘Clown-Shoe’. It wasn’t really all that bad but not a great looker either, especially in the Coupe version.

The Roadster was a little better looking with the top down. Launched in 1995, it was BMW’s second attempt at creating a Z car worthy of their badge. It was also the most popular such model made, selling 15,000 units before the car was even in production.

Based on the E36 platform, it was available with plenty of engine choices and two transmission alternatives: a manual 5-speed and an automatic 4-speed. This was also the first Roadster Z car to make it to North America.

Last, but not least, we have the Z4 that started production with the original E85 model back in 2002 and continued with the E89 that is still in production today.

Once again, sales were not amazing but the car’s reviews generally agreed that you could have plenty of fun with one of these. Due to the lack of popularity the current model is recording, BMW is now looking to bring yet another Z model to the market, to gain more traction.

The latest rumors say that the company is working on a Z2, a car that will be using the recently launched UKL platform and, therefore, it will be sending the power to the front axle.

While such a move would drive the manufacturing costs down, it would destroy the BMW Roadster image that was extremely connected to the rear-wheel-drive architecture that allowed you to have a lot of fun with the roof down.

Of course, considering the technological progress recorded in lightweight construction and materials, the new model would be using i8 technology everywhere possible, that including Carbon Fibre Reinforced Polymer.

Assuming that kind of tech would drive the weight of the car down to 1,200 kg (2,500 lbs), even front-wheel-drive could provide the thrills the average driver is looking for from an open-top ride.

However, it’s highly unlikely that the car will look like our automotive manipulating friend, Theophilus Chin, designed it to be. He used the Zagato Roadster as a base and the added a couple of new elements like the LED stripes on the taillights and the big air intakes on the front bumper that are more similar to an AMG package rather than a Bimmer.

Chances are that if the Z2 does come to life, it will be adhering to the current trend over at BMW and it will have the headlights connected to the kidney grilles, and a sleeker overall body shape that will also be compact enough to make it smaller than the outgoing Z4.

With the E89 model going out of production in 2016, the Z2 might pop-up just around that year too, either to replace the Z4 or to be sold alongside it. If the pricing is right (and by that we mean around $30,000), the smaller, FWD alternative could be a big seller.

 
 
 
 
 

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