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Is the BMW Z4 is about to retire?

The BMW Z4 could soon be heading to the great scrapheap in the sky in the very near future, it has emerged.

The BimmerToday website first confirmed the news BMW will cease production of the Z4 Roadster sports car at the end of August 2016, nearly 14 since the first-generation model began rolling out of factories.

A report in AutoBlog confirmed the news that suggests the Z4’s demise paves the way for the Z5, which is said to be BMW’s next sports car and one that is being worked on with the help of Toyota.

The Z5 – as it has been dubbed by motoring journalists – will reportedly maintain the popular formula of a long bonnet, rear-wheel drive and two seats and could be powered by a choice of four- and six-cylinder engines like its Z4 predecessor.

It has also been suggested the Z5 could provide a hint at the return of the Toyota Supra, which was a Japanese sports car that earned itself a big following after appearing in the early Fast & Furious movies and Gran Turismo, and that it could have as much as 400hp.

Collaborations may seem like an odd move, but Toyota and Subaru worked together and that gave us the rather fun GT86 and BR-Z so it is worth keeping an open mind.

The BMW Z4 replaced the Z3, which was often criticised for being a bit ‘girly’ (except the Z3M Coupe version, which has become rather sought after). Thus BMW decided to beef up the Z4 to the point where it seemingly forgot to give it suspension.

Not only that, the Z4 is one of a few cars that would be better served by a front-facing camera, such is the length of its bonnet and low seating position.

Quirks aside, its straight-six lumps (particularly the 3.0-litre mated to a six-speed manual) were wonderfully potent and packed plenty of grunt from relatively low revs, helping it earn a loyal following. It helps, too, that second-hand prices err on the low side these days.

In its later generations, BMW softened everything up and made it much more accessible. A folding hard-top roof in tow for added sound- and weather-proofing was largely to blame. Clarkson absolutely loved it, while fans of the original felt it was too pipe and slippers. Here’s hoping the Z5 sits somewhere in the middle.


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