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Our ever-vigilant readers have struck, proving yet again that in the age of the camera phone, almost anyone with a mobile device can emulate Jim Dunne, Brenda Priddy or Hans Lehmann. The latest capture we've received comes from reader Charlie Hung, who recently spotted this black roadster on a Southern California freeway. A quick inspection of the images reveals it to be the next-generation BMW Z4 that's been spotted periodically for some time now. The bodywork on BMW's latest offerings would suggest that the current Z4's flame surfacing will probably be radically toned down. Much of the contouring we see on this prototype is likely just camouflage. Underhood, we'll probably get the same powertrain lineup as the 3 Series, with the next M Roadster getting the M3's V8. Judging from the size of the rear window, the Z4 will probably pick up a retractable hard top as well. When the new Z4 debuts, BMW will move production from its current home Spartanburg, SC to Germany. Spartanburg will take over production of the X3 crossover.


[Source: Charlie Hung]


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  • 19 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      This car continues the Z4's poor proportions. The hood is too long compared to the extremely short read section. Bangle just can't seem to get it right(!)
        • 6 Years Ago
        I disagree. The Z4 is a modern take on the classic long-hooded shape like the Jaguar E-type and BMW's own 507.

        To achieve near 50/50 weight balance with an inline 6 engine (i.e. aft of the front axle), the hood has to be long.

        There are other front-oriented coupes (the TT for example). The Z4 dares to be different.

        -SimianSpeedster
      • 6 Years Ago
      I really like the current Z4, looks small, but really muscular, especially the side profiles. Some of Bangle's designs grow on you, like the 5, the Z4 (not the sad looking 6 though, or the bland 3, or boring 1)
        • 6 Years Ago
        Everybody likes to hate on Bangle but most often overlook the fact that he designed the E46 3 series, one of the most successful and in my opinion most beautiful BMW's ever produced.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I wonder if the X6 will ever grow on me...
      • 6 Years Ago
      How many shots do you want? Interior+exterior. A dude in my neighborhood is a BMW test driver of something. He always has the latest BMW all camo'd out. Although the last one I saw was the new 7 about 2 weeks ago I'm sure this is/will be around soon.
      • 6 Years Ago
      And once again, I can't wait until they debut this new iteration.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Maybe this one won't be hideous.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I regret that they are going to a hard-top too... The current model has a huge trunk (for a roadster), and there is no way that will remain.

      I will also miss the flame surfacing. Popular or not, it's distinctive.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Larry, flame surfacing has nothing to do with paint or color - it's the term they used to describe the *shape* of the sheetmetal, with its interplay of concave and convex surfaces.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Hi what exactly do you see in the flame surface? in Calif they seem like regular paint jobs.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "A quick inspection of the images reveals it to be the next-generation BMW Z4 that's been spodded periodically for some time now."

      Spodded, seriously?

      If you guys need a copy proofreader let me know. Haha.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Maybe BMW will decide to return to hydraulic power steering, ditch the run-flat tires and the iDrive and fire Chris Bangle. Not likely though.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I wonder if, for the second time in my life, the death of the convertible is predicted. In this case, the soft top only though.

      When Chrysler killed the Le Baron convertible, it was the "death" of the American convertible (almost concurrently to when we saw the "death" of the American V8 too).

      I would think a small car like the Z4 would be a perfect candidate to retain a soft-top, for weight and trunk space. But if it goes hardtop, what exactly typifies the soft top market now?

      I do think the hard top is convincing, but I have to think the soft top will make some sort of comeback later.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Porsche Boxster still has a softtop... As does the 911 so I'm guessing the softtop is not dead yet :)
      • 6 Years Ago
      Looks good, doesn't have the huge headlights, and that hood looks long enough for the V8 or the twin turbo 6 to fit nicely.
      • 6 Years Ago
      wow, this could be a sweeeeet ride.


      • 6 Years Ago
      looking a bit like an S2000 from the back side. Losing the camel-hump trunk was a good call.
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