The BMW Group used the Concours d’Elegance at Pebble Beach to present its new take on a BMW roadster. The BMW Concept Z4 features classical roadster design cues, such as a long wheelbase, a low-slung, stretched silhouette and a compact rear end, and wraps them in a fresh, confident package and enriches them with the contemporary BMW design language, according to the company.
A shorter bonnet and crisp overhangs ensure the driver sits closer to the center of the car than in previous BMW roadsters. This gives the new proportions a focused, sporty and agile feel, according to the company. The outline of the car follows a distinct wedge shape. The large domes stretching out rearwards from the cabin integrate the function of rollover bars and provide a sporting conclusion to the low-to-the-road silhouette at the rear.
The clearly sculpted shark nose at the front end spawns dramatic surface contouring that extends the full length of the flanks. The new direction taken by BMW’s design language can be seen here in just a few precise lines that form clear surfaces, while the body’s volumes are powerfully sculpted, according to the company.
The large Air Breathers rearwards of the front wheels act as the source of the flanks’ elaborately modeled surfaces (they appear to be shaped by the flow of air as it exits the Air Breathers). Light and shaded surfaces develop in a rising movement towards the rear, then twist to form muscular wheel arches and athletic volumes. All of which shines a bright stylistic spotlight on the car’s rear-wheel drive. The low door sills, with their distinctive crease, makes the body appear closer to the road, emphasizing the low-slung sensation when viewing the car from the side.
In place of the customary bars, the inside of the kidney grille on the BMW Concept Z4 features elaborately designed mesh, which recalls the sporty, functional kidney design of early BMW roadsters, such as the BMW 328 Mille Miglia. In a departure from the BMW norm, the Concept Z4 provides a vertical interpretation of the classical four-eyed headlight look, with two overlapping tubes on each side. The turn signal indicators point diagonally towards the kidneys from above and underline the dynamic flair of the front end.
The front apron cuts a genuinely athletic figure with its sculptural design language. Its trio of large air intakes are a nod to the powerful engine further back and so carry the promise of a dynamic driving experience, according to BMW.
The design of the BMW Concept Z4 likewise references details and qualities from BMW’s rich roadster tradition and updates them for the years ahead, according to the company. The wide and low design of the rear picks up the lines of the car’s flanks and massages them into a modern rear of beguiling clarity in terms of surfaces and styling elements.
The flared wheel arches give the car broad haunches, which are emphasized by the slim, L-shaped rear lights and therefore further enhance the car’s sporting stance.
Above the rear lights, the boot lid-complete with prominent spoiler-stretches across to the burly wheel arch extensions. Below, large air outlets in the rear apron create a dynamic impression, according to BMW. The carbon-fibre diffuser adds a sporty and exclusive flourish and signs off the rear end at its lowest point to the road.