BMW Z4 Will Receive A Successor Developed With Toyota In 2017
|   Thursday, August 07, 2014
BMW is preparing a successor to the Z4, developed together with the Japanese from Toyota and the model will benefit from a six-cylinder engine, headlines Motoring.com.

In an interview with Kai Lichte, product specialist within the BMW Group, the official presented some information regarding the future of the German company, among which motorization was included.
The Roadster is expected to be launched in 2017, in the same period in which the Toyota range equivalent is also scheduled for launch.


The six-cylinder in line motorization will be the largest unit in the new BMW modular family. The modular family of engines of the Bavarian brand includes fewer cylinder engines like the three-cylinder versions that have a displacement of 1.5 liters, while the four-cylinder in line units have a displacement of 2.0 liters.
The unit will get under the hood of the Z4 successor, code-named B58, and will equip the future 7 Series too. This unit is expected to deliver a torque of 440 Nm and 335 hp, thanks to direct injection and solutions like TwinPower Turbo supercharging.

Launching a Z4 successor takes places when the premium roadsters segment is declining, but Kai Lichte explains the necessity of such a model in the Bavarian's range, invoking emotional reasons for its presence in the Munich manufacturer's portfolio.

Regarding the collaboration between BMW and Toyota, the German official has detailed the responsibilities of the German partner, which aimed for engine development and lightweight bodywork materials, the latter inspired by the technology used on the i3 and i8 models of the Bavarians.
"The first car you will see on this platform of the sports car will be a classic six-cylinder BMW," said Kai Lichte, senior BMW product spokesman, for motoring.com.au at the 2 Series Active Tourer launch in Austria.

Toyota is expected to lead and employ a hybrid drivetrain, potentially an all-wheel drive and featuring supercapacitors rather than battery packs to store and discharge electrical energy. However, Lichte refused to comment on reports saying that future BMW versions of the sports car would follow the Japanese expectations.

"That's too early to talk about this. First of all we will have the six-cylinder engine that's for sure. Everything else will be – might be – later. But it's really too early [to discuss]." he said.

If BMW wanted to produce a successor to the Z4, which brought strong emotional rewards for the company but not money, then the cooperation with a partner like Toyota was essential, said Lichte.

"The idea is ... to share the architecture to make cars – some sports cars – more profitable and even to make it work. The Z4 roadster segment is declining, so if you want to have a BMW roadster also in the future we have to look at which platform can it be and the economies of scale. The segment is declining but we would like to see a car like this because it is close to BMW."

In the technical collaboration announced back in 2011, BMW is also the main partner of lightweight construction and combustion engines, including diesel. Toyota has leadership in hybrid and fuel cell technologies.
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