Making its world debut at the Concours d’Elegance at Pebble Beach, the BMW Concept Z4 Roadster sets the stage for a next production version of the automaker’s entry-level 2-seater that will be revealed during the course of the next year. Calling this flashy design study “an all-out driving machine,” Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design, says it also “expresses the new BMW design language from all perspectives and in all details.”

Roadster redefined

While retaining the proportions seen in the current Z4, this forward-looking one-off boasts a new sculpted edginess to complement its orange finish. It starts with a shorter, lower hood and a new interpretation of BMW’s classic twin-kidney grille which is framed by bolder quad headlamps mounted higher in the fascia as well as a deeper apron and larger air intakes. Sweeping character lines, prominent gill vents, smartly flared fenders, twin integrated headrest buttresses that house rollover bars and 20-inch light-alloy wheels add interest to the profile while the rear end features slim, L-shaped LED lights positioned above dual air outlets. A tasteful integrated decklid spoiler lip and functional carbon fiber diffuser that also houses the dual exhausts complete the theme.

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The Concept Z4 Roadster’s cabin embodies a similar kind of stylized flair, color-coordinated to reflect its functionality. The driver’s cockpit area is all rendered in black with the remainder of the passenger compartment done in orange with carbon fiber accents. Dual, multi-mode digital displays handle the main instrumentation and infotainment while a supplemental head-up display allows the person behind the 3-spoke sport wheel to focus on the road ahead. All ancillary controls are grouped into “function islands” to ensure quick, easy use with minimal distraction.

Due in 2019

Slated to arrive here as a 2019, the new BMW Z4 is being developed in conjunction with Toyota, which will sell its own coupe version of the car as the Supra. While BMW said nothing about the Concept Z4 Roadster’s powertrain, its volume-build successor is expected to offer both TwinPower Turbo 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder inline engines. The new Z4 production model also will jettison the 2-piece retractable hard top used on its predecessor in favor of a folding-cloth alternative.

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