A small roadster to sit below the Z4 has been on BMW’s wish list for some time, but not until now has the BMW Z2 project started to make financial sense.
BMW’s modular UKL1 front-wheel-drive platform – which debuts in the new MINI later this year – opens up a world of possibilities. By spreading the burden of development across MINI and BMW, it means a model explosion is on the way. The first front-wheel-drive BMW to arrive will be a five-seat version of the Concept Active Tourer, to rival the Mercedes B-Class, late next year. A seven-seater will follow, while the next 1 Series family will be entirely front-wheel drive. The next X1 and a new coupé-styled, three-door small SUV, the X2, will also use the same underpinnings.
But the most enticing proposition is this front-wheel-drive Z2. It’ll be similar in size to the old Z3, and will use turbocharged 1.5-litre three-cylinder and 2.0-litre four-cylinder versions of BMW’s new modular petrol and diesel engines. The top-spec 2.0 petrol car could produce as much as 300bhp, with the cleanest three-cylinder diesel emitting well under 100g/km of CO2. And the best part is the price – a BMW sports car starting at just over £20,000 sounds tempting, don’t you think?