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Car and Driver: Z You Later: BMW Z4 Production Ending Soon


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The Z4, BMW’s two-seat droptop, finally appears to be retiring from production. The roadster has been around for 14 years, introduced in 2002 as a replacement for the Z3. It was built to be a fantastic top-down cruiser, while also offering the performance to back up that BMW badge.


Following the brief 1989–1991 run of the Z1 roadster and its wild doors, the Z3 (which debuted in 1995) and Z4 Were positioned as rivals to other premium German sports cars such as the Porsche Boxster, Audi TT, and Mercedes-Benz SLK. While the BMW didn’t handle as sharply as the Boxster, ride as nicely as the SLK, or offer as much practicality as the TT, the Z-series cars nevertheless offered a nice blend of performance and comfort.


The report of the current Z4’s demise comes from BMW enthusiast site BMWBlog, which suggests that production will end right on schedule for the lifecycle of the car. The Z4 got was redesigned in 2009 with a more modern look, including a folding hardtop in place of the fabric unit. This iteration is now seven years old, however—ancient by modern production-car standards.


As for a replacement BMW sports car, Toyota and BMW are working together to develop a new platform that would accommodate such a model. We’ve heard that this car could even be powered by a hybrid, all-wheel-drive powertrain. While that may be quite a departure from the current Z4’s formula, sports cars aren’t selling in the same volumes they once did, and such a powertrain would offer a differentiating factor in the marketplace.


A version of this story originally appeared on Road & Track.


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