2016 BMW Z4 Sportscar Redesign, Hybrid Engine and Review

Although it’s not yet official, the 2016 BMW Z4 is very possible for production in near future. The next-generation Z4 is the result of the alliance formed by two big brands, BMW and Toyota. The new Z4 is a two-seat sports car that will bring performance-boosting supercapacitor technology.

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The new sports car will feature a front-engined layout. But unlike Toyota’s FT-1 concept, it is likely to be four-wheel drive thanks to the use of a direct-injection petrol engine and electric motors. These power sources will form part of a high-tech supercapacitor-touting hybrid system that draws on technology and expertise gained from Toyota’s Le Mans LMP1 sports car program.

Exterior

With all the recent talk about the offsprings of the BMW-Toyota collaboration, we expected a plethora of renderings of the upcoming models to come out. And yet, we were rather disappointed, only a few automotive renderers taking the plunge.

The hesitation is easy to understand as nobody really knows what’s going to happen and everything we have to work with is speculation. The latest man to enter this dangerous trend is Remco Meulendijk, the one behind RM.Design.

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His take on the upcoming Z4 uses the current model and decks it with the new styling cues that are more and more prominent in BMW’s models. Round the back, the taillights have been changed with one featuring the LED L-Shape we’ve been seeing on every car launched after the F15 X5.

The side sills are more aggressive while the front fenders are now sporting gills that are meant to make the cars more efficient. The retracting roof was kept as a hardtop, like on the current model, while the rear bumper received a hardcore, carbon fiber diffuser that hosts two exhaust tail pipes.

Powertrain

Rumors said that the new Z4 will be powered by hybrid engine built by Toyota, that might be true. However, we can’t just neglect BMW’s engines that still have possibilities to be carried over in the lineup.

As for the real-life model that BMW will launch, the rumors say it will be sharing its platform with the upcoming Supra from Toyota but it will keep the traditional inline 6-cylinder architecture alive. That means the engine from the upcoming Z4/Z5 model will be used by the Japanese as well, probably with different power outputs.

According to Autocar, BMW will largely be responsible for developing the chassis while Toyota will be responsible for the hybrid technology, which instead of storing recaptured engine in a battery will store it in a super-capacitor. Such a setup is used in Toyota’s Le Mans prototypes competing in the World Endurance Championship and was previewed recently in the Yaris Hybrid-R concept.

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The super-capacitors are much lighter than conventional batteries and can absorb and discharge electrical energy much faster, which is better suited for the sudden bursts of acceleration sports car drivers enjoy. The new Supra/Z4 duo would be the tech’s first production application.

BMW will reportedly use its own engine for the next Z4. The engine will be mounted up front and spin the rear wheels while an electric drive system powered by the super-capacitors will power the front wheels, essentially making the car a ‘through-the-road’ all-wheel-drive hybrid. The German automaker will also employ lightweight construction technology for much of the body, using lessons learned from developing its i3 and i8 models.

Release Date and Price

It is still unclear when will the 2016 BMW Z4 be released, we have not much hints right now but we will update you once we get reports. The same thing happens on pricing, the company doesn’t provide any details, so we can only wait until further announcement. Keep coming back here for future updates as it becomes available.

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