The BMW Z4 isn’t a car on most enthusiasts radar. The last time it made real news was when it became the first BMW to debut the new N20 four-cylinder engine. Lack of interest is probably because the Z4 doesn’t have much of a performance edge. The second generation model took some youthfulness out of the design. Very good looking, no doubt but it seemingly aims at a different buyer. The fairly large Z4 is more of a cruiser than a lightweight canyon carver. According to Edmunds Inside Line, BMW is looking to change direction a bit – without alienating the car’s existing buyer base. Good luck with that one.
The next-generation Z4 isn’t scheduled to arrive until 2015. When it does, IL says it will come designed around the N20 four-cylinder. Designed to be light and nimble, the 2015 Z4 will have better weight distribution and a shorter front end. Bringing it closer to the Z3 (but with more grown up styling, please) sounds like a good recipe for BMW’s roadster.
Another interesting piece of news in the article is a change in philosophy regarding BMW design. We may be partial (disclaimer, this writer owns an E46 3-Series) but we think BMW styling has traditionally held up very well over time. Most would agree that the E39 5-Series, for instance, is still a good-looking car even today. There is something to be said for cars that have a timeless quality. That pattern was broken with the previous-generation Bangle-designed cars – we doubt they’ll stay fresh years from now.
They current generation of BMWs are classically good-looking; a return to design form for BMW. According to IL, BMW is opting timeless design as a modus operandi. The team is said to be designing cars with the goal that they will still look good 15 years from now. That is done by specifically avoiding certain features that would stand out as dated. After all, used cars have an impact brand image as well as new cars. The first cars designed this way were the latest 5-, 6- and 3-Series models.