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New BMW Z5 Coupe seen out and about

By raccars Published

BMW

All of the latest news on the new BMW Z5 Coupe prototype and the BMW/Toyota partnership.

A new BMW Z5 Coupe prototype has been seen out and about, prompting speculation about a revamped replacement for a model that was officially phased out back in 2008.

The coupe version is a fixed-roof take on the BMW Z4. It has resulted from a platform-sharing partnership involving Toyota and BMW.

It was thought that the partnership project would result in a Z4 replacement in convertible format, which would probably be called the Z5, and a Toyota fixed-roof coupe. It seems, however, that BMW has developed a coupe version of its own.

A new BMW coupe

The car which has been spotted recently is based upon Z5 prototypes seen previously and features M4 GTS wheels. A convertible version is said to be on the cards.

The coupe seems to share many features with drop-top models seen previously. These include the boot lid layout and bonnet. Inside, the new BMW Z5 prototype appears to be a typical BMW and features the same instrument cluster as seen in the next generation BMW 5 Series.

The prototype has an automatic, dual-clutch gearbox and shares the same exhaust system and plain brake discs spotted on the convertible prototypes. The BMW Z5 could share the 7000rpm redline that comes with the BMW M2, whilst the stand-out body kit and GTS wheels suggest that the new BMW could offer quite a sporty look.

A Z5M is also said to be in development, boasting a modified version of the straight-six seen in the M2 and an increase in bhp from the M2’s 365 to 400. Could this real-wheel-drive, six-cylinder offering be enough to entice former Porsche customers over to BMW?

Assessing the competition

It is believed that the new BMW Z5 will compete with rivals such as the Porsche Boxster, the Cayman, the Mercedes SLC and the Audi TT, and fill a niche for BMW. Another upside for the company is that two versions of one car being produced off one platform ensures that costs are minimised.

It is believed that the Z5’s creation is now in its advanced stages and it is expected that more information will be released in 2017.

The BMW and Toyota partnership

The co-operative development to create the rear-wheel-drive BMW Z4 successor is the latest in a long-running relationship between the two companies.

It is understood that the modular chassis will underpin the Z5, as well as being used in the Supra flagship’s rebirth and the GT86 replacement. There has been speculation that the Supra would make use of a full-length version of the platform, complemented by an in-house V6, whilst the next generation of the Toyota GT86 would feature a shortened version.

The Toyota and BMW joint sports car, meanwhile, was spotted earlier this summer with a somewhat compact appearance. The engine looked to have been placed as far back as possible in order to ensure optimal weight distribution.

Background to the Toyota and BMW alliance

The relationship between the Japanese and German car giants began in 2011. Collaborations have included focusing on fuel cell vehicles, whilst BMW has been responsible for the supply of diesel engines to be used in Toyotas in Europe such as the company’s Avensis range.

The new sports cars are not expected to be on sale until 2018 and Toyota and BMW seem set to continue their working relationship long into the future. There is talk that one of the next projects will be a front-wheel-drive, low-cost offering to underpin urban cars such as the next Aygo and a baby Mini in the future.

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