We still aren't 100-percent certain of the name, but rumors are pointing to BMW ditching the Z4 nomenclature in favor of Z5. As we've reported before, it's very likely that this car is being developed with help from Toyota. The platform underpinning the car shown here could become the long-awaited new Supra (albeit in hardtop-only form).
We'd love to tell you about the look of this new car, but between the camouflage and the caked-on snow, it's hard to draw a bead. We can clearly see the headlights are inspired by newer BMWs like the 7 Series and 2 Series, but other details are harder to discern. The right elements are here, though. The prototype has a long hood and short rear deck. It's also worth pointing out that the car shown here marks a return to a canvas convertible roof. Aside from being less complex, our spies report that the soft top is being used to lower weight and provide sharper handling.
While our report on the Z4's successor from March 2015 pointed to a 2020 launch date for the new roadster, our spies say the German part of this BMW/Toyota partnership could launch in late 2017 or early 2018 with four- and six-cylinder engine options.