• Feb 8, 2011
The internet is afire with word that BMW is planning to bring a small convertible concept to the 2011 Geneva Motor Show next month. According to The Age, the car may be our first look at what the company has planned for a sub-Z4 model designed to spar with the Mazda MX-5 and the host of shared-platform convertibles that the Volkswagen army is rumored to be slaving over. A representative from BMW supposedly confirmed that a baby drop top will be the company's star attraction in Geneva this year.
BMW, meanwhile, says that the concept car itself will not go into production, but that some elements of the design may show up in future products down the line. The Age is reporting that the concept will make use of some fairly outrageous design cues, including the retractable doors of the ever-awesome Z1.

Murkier still is what kind of drivetrain will find its way under the concept's hood. This could be a good excuse for BMW to start strutting its new front-wheel-drive bent or even to play around with a compact hybrid set up. Either way, we'll find out in a few short weeks. Thanks for the tip, Mark!

[Source: The Age]


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  • 32 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      Wasn't the original Z3 close in size to the Miata?
        • 3 Years Ago
        That was my thought. Saw this headline before walking to lunch, and then passed my Miata sitting next to an old Z3. Which prompted the thought, they've already built this car. Just bring back the Z3.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Many have tried to compete with the miata, and many have failed
      • 3 Years Ago
      This will fight with the Miata just as much as the 1 Series fights with the Mazda 3
      • 3 Years Ago
      Wait. "This could be a good excuse for BMW to start strutting its new front-wheel-drive bent..." Ummmm a FWD "Miata Fighter" sounds about as lame as the Lotus Capri. Even though the Miata has a "chick car" stigma, it's "true" sports car ability, price, and reliability is what sells it.

      I have never owned a BMW, but I have had two Miatas (1994 and 2003) and they were great cars with a great price. I never had to do anything with them other than change the oil. Anyways, I will take this rumor with a economy sized box of salt.
      • 3 Years Ago
      fight Miata your monkey butt! They'll juts make this Z1 and make it $35K, starting...and move everything up. How much is a friggin 3 series nowadays? $50?
        • 3 Years Ago

        Bingo - my thoughts exactly.

        +1
      • 3 Years Ago
      Well, it didn't happen did it? Maybe soon. I personally have a difficult time forking out $54,000+ for a new Z4, as much as I'd like to have one. Anyway, I think they are getting a bit too big (I currently have a 2003 Z4). A less expensive, more simple sports car from BMW would be great. Call it a Miata fighter if you wish, but I suspect it will be a superior car and probably a bit more expensive as well. I prefer to think of it as a modern day TR-3, where as the Miata is but a modern day MGB.
      • 3 Years Ago
      BMW will need to make it reliable and carry an un-BMW-like price tag. I somehow doubt Munich will be able to pull that off successfully. But if they do manage, they might have a winner on their hands!
      • 3 Years Ago
      It will reportedly weigh 3000 lbs and cost 35000 (quoting the imaginary, but likely BMW press release). This, however, given the typical BMW buyer's lack of automotive understanding for weight considerations or what other manufacturers are putting out relative to BMW, should result in the runaway parotting of the term "Miata fighter" on every BMW forum known to mankind.
      • 3 Years Ago
      If BMW can keep the premium for getting into this new roadster from being too steep, I could realistically see it poaching a few MX5 sales. New MX5's are roughly $20-30k, so if BMW could keep this model in the $25-35k range, I can see strong sales.

      However, if they do opt to make this one of their new FWD variants, I doubt I'll even give it a look no matter the price.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I see BMW making this a FWD and sticking a "Mini" badge on it. No way they can justify a single use RWD platform (assuming it's different than Z4) for a price in the mid-20's
        • 3 Years Ago
        Hasn't the Mini Roadster already been confirmed?
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is a good idea. The Z4 is about the most perfect roadster, but it's nearly $50k just to get your foot in the door.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Actually, the previous gen E85 was the perfect roadster. The 3.0si model was just awesome at 3000lbs with a torquey 3.0 straight six. Very fun car.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Why try and fight the Miata? Go for a part of the market that no one serves. There are no small two seater coupes out there. Why does every manufacturer assume that a small two seater has to be a convertible?

      If they go FWD this car will go the way of the Capri and Lotus Elan. It's been tried and it doesn't work.
        • 3 Years Ago
        "Why does every manufacturer assume that a small two seater has to be a convertible?"

        Simple: because 2 seat coupes don't sell well. Look at the 1st generation Z4 -- the coupe was great, but it was outsold by it's convertible brother by more than 9 to 1. I think people are willing to make the sacrifice that a 2 seater entails to get a convertible (sometimes as a second or weekend car, I'd imagine), but there are too many 4 seat coupes that lure buyers away with practicality.

        I don't have the numbers at my disposal, but I imagine the Pontiac Solstice Coupe sold in very small numbers, but that was partly due to the timing of its introduction realtive to Pontiac's demise.

        I grew up digging reasonably priced 2 seat coupes like the MR2 and Fiero, but that market is essentially gone. Even Lotus looks pised to abandaon the relatively (!) affordable 2 seat coupe market as they move upscale.

        The closest thing to a light two seat coupe you can buy today is a base TT -- the rear seats are basically unusable for humans and the car is relatively small and light by today's standards.
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