BMW bringing its Concept Z4 to Pebble Beach

New BMW X2

The new BMW X2 from above

Like in the classic Z auto tradition of BMW, the new Z4 will be a strict two-seater with probably better levels of cargo-carrying ability.

BMW is going to reveal the Z4 concept later today at the Pebble Beach Concourse d'Elegance, but you get to see it now.

The details start to define what could be next for BMW design. Starting with the front end, BMW's signature dual-kidney grilles are positioned low in the fascia and are angled in slightly.

And because BMW and Toyota have joined hands in producing the new cars at the same factory (in Austria, it is claimed) to boost economies of scales, production there is set to be tight to really be able to accommodate special versions with reworked bodies and drivetrains.

Unusually, the headlamps have been spun 90-degrees and stack two overlapping tubes on each size. The clamshell-style hood can be interpreted as a nod to the entire 2002 series-one also appeared on the Z3-but in reality, it was probably necessitated by pedestrian-protection regulations. The Concept Z4 takes on classical roadster design cues, such as a long wheelbase, a low-slung, stretched silhouette and a compact rear end, encompassed in an exuberant package.

Inside, meanwhile, the Energetic Orange exterior paint continues, along with chrome and leather.

The dash features two screens, one for the instrument panel and one on the center stack. All ancillary controls are grouped into "function islands" to ensure quick, easy use with minimal distraction. The clean interior design is accented with minimal flourishes - a spare amount of chrome and carbon-fiber trim, and a laser-cut pattern in the upholstery.

The concept features BMW's evolutionary new design language, sporting a larger front grille and narrow headlamps that remind us of those seen on the BMW 8-Series Concept.

"Stripping the vehicle back to the essentials allows the driver to experience all the ingredients of motoring pleasure with supreme directness", Hooydonk said in a statement. The front wheels hide large Z4-branded four-piston brake calipers and iron rotors.

The unveiling of the Concept Z4 comes more than six months before BMW plans to unveil the production version of the new Z4 at the Geneva auto show in 2018, with North American sales launching during the second half of next year.

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