Malcolm Flynn | May 9, 2012

BMW’s next Z4 roadster will offer sharper handling and truer sporting performance than its predecessors, according to a recent report.

US website Inside Line report that the new model, due in 2015, will be more of a Boxster competitor than Zs of the past, including the Z3 original.

BMW’s two-seat roadster has grown heavier and more luxurious with each generation, culminating in the current model’s kerb weight of up to 1525kg.

The German automaker already has the larger 6 Series Convertible to take care of boulevard cruiser duties, albeit with a starting price some $110,000 beyond the entry Z4, while the midsized 3 Series Convertible can fill a similar space.

The report adds that BMW will handle the personality shift carefully, to avoid alienating fans of the Z range.

BMW Z4 sDrive35is, Front end (11/2009)

The new model is expected to feature increased use of lightweight materials, along with a greater embrace of BMW’s range of lightweight turbocharged four-cylinder engines.

This could also mean a return to a soft top design, unlike the current model’s relatively heavy retractable hardtop.

The trademark Z long bonnet proportions are also expected to change, with a shorter bonnet offering greater weight distribution than the classic roadster design.

The new Z4 is also likely to subscribe to BMW design boss Adrian van Hooydonk's policy of timeless style, steering away from styling trends and features that are likely to fade quickly, prematurely ageing the car's look.

For performance, the current top-shelf Z4 sDrive35is is far from a snorer. Anything tougher than that can only be a good thing.


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