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Michael Wimbeck – project manager for the new BMW Z4 – was unequivocal when asked whether the previous model had provided any inspiration for the new roadster: “No, we didn’t take any inspiration from the previous model,” he said.
Co-developed with Toyota, the plan, according to BMW engineers, is that Toyota will offer the Supra only as a coupe, while BMW will offer the Z4 only as a roadster. If you’ve read our reports on the Toyota Supra on CarAdvice, you’d know that the Japanese manufacturer has stated there would be no Supra without the co-development synergy with the Bavarian manufacturer.
“The car is 100 percent BMW, the tuning of the engine, suspension and gearbox, the electronic adjustments are made for BMW,” Wimbeck told Australian journalists. “The Toyota is BMW engineering with Toyota design and application even though we both had nearly the same aim with the car. The segment sales figures have dropped, and Z4 probably wouldn’t exist without Toyota.”
Like most BMW sports applications, the Z4 roadster needed to be a multi-faceted sports car, just as capable of daily driving duties as it is a rapid track blast, evidenced by its Nurburgring lap time. While lap times don’t necessarily resonate to the average buyer, they do, according to BMW, illustrate the outer capabilities of their vehicles.