As the new BMW Z4 is making its impressive entrance, another question arises in the mind of BMW fans: should BMW build the rumored Z2 Roadster? In the past few months, more and more information regarding a future Z2 started to leak to the press and caused some controversy between the bimmer fans.
They believe the new E89 Z4 has moved away from the typical roadster type and the increased weight - between the E85 and E89 of around 200 lbs - makes the Z4 unlikely to be more dynamic than the E85, a car with already excellent handling. Some people believe that the image of a sport ride will shy away with the new Z4 and the introduction of a smaller, more dynamic roadster is the right answer.
Since the new 2009 BMW Z4 has moved up in size as well - not a bad thing in my opinion - this will create an empty spot for the Z2. The BMW Z2 could be a pure roadster that will go back to the original idea of a sport, fun BMW vehicle and by offering a soft rooftop again and removing the unnecessary comfort features, could become the Ultimate Driving Machine one more time, a car that will be purchased due to its performance and handling by the true BMW enthusiasts. With Z2 BMW are aiming at the compact Roadster class and possibly a Z2 Coupe could feature as well.
We all know that BMW will focus on building smaller cars, with reduced weight and more efficient engines. In the next few years, there will be a huge push and a demand for four-cylinder engines, which combined with a lighter, smaller car, will offer an excellent ratio of performance and fuel consumption. BMW's big push for a Compact Roadster is simple under Efficient Dynamics BMW aim for the Z2 Roadster to be the first hybrid BMW Roadster in production utilising BMW eDrive with BMW wanting to continue with what has started with the MINI-E and continue towards the BMW brand and eventually over to Rolls Royce.
I do also expect a four-cylinder engine to be available, most likely the engine developed together with the French company PSA.
The BMW Z2 which is scheduled for 2012 launch, will be built on the 1 Series platform in order to reduce manufacturing costs and to keep an attractive base price. For the U.S market, an appealing base price is near the $30,000 mark which will allow BMW to win over the young professionals crowd.
In conclusion, I believe that a BMW Z2 Roadster will be the right call for the german manufacturer, but before the final go-ahead is given, they will need to take in consideration the sales of the new Z4 and most important, customers' feedback of their new roadster design and performance.