The Z4, BMW’s famous two-seat drop-top, finally seems to be retiring from production. The roadster has been around for 14 years, introduced in 2002 as a replacement for the Z3. It was built to be a fantastic coastline cruiser, while also offering the performance to back up that BMW badge.
Update, 7/13/2016: BMW has confirmed to Road & Track that Z4 production will end in August.
The Z-series was added into BMWs lineup to compete against rivals such as the Porsche Boxster, Audi TT, and Mercedes-Benz SLK. While it didn’t handle as sharply as the Boxster, or offer the TT’s practicality, the Z4 was a great blend of performance and comfort. It was a car you could take to work every day, and have fun with on the weekends.
Apparently, those days are over. The news was first reported by noted BMW enthusiast site BMWBlog, which suggests that production will end right on schedule for the lifecycle of the car. The Z4 was updated in 2009 with a more modern look, and a folding hardtop in place of the fabric unit. This iteration is now 7 years old, ancient by modern production car standards.
What we’re wondering is, what will the Z4’s replacement be?
We know Toyota and BMW are working together to develop a new sports car, one that seemingly would fit in the Z4’s price and capability segment. We’ve also heard that this car could even be powered by a hybrid, all-wheel-drive powertrain. While that may be quite a departure from the current Z4’s style, BMW doesn’t seem to be afraid to embrace the future of motoring.
This post was originally publsihed July 12th, and has been updated.