BMW is back! Of course, not that it ever went away. But its earlier philosophy of producing lightweight rear-wheel drivers with sublime handling may have been diluted as it set about catering to the whims of the US market with its love of SUVs and 'cross-overs'.
Rest assured there's a fresh wind coming in the shape of the Z2 roadster and Coupe. The first official look will arrive at this year?s Frankfurt Motor Show in concept form, meanwhile German publication Auto Bild has the low-down on what to expect.
The Z2 will share its platform with the next generation 1 Series and will be a part of BMW?s ?Project i? series of vehicles to deliver the benefits of eco-friendly technologies in practical (and, yes, affordable) packages.
The target weight for the Z2 is around 1000kg which is considerably less than anything BMW currently offers. Under the bonnet, a 1.6 litre direct-injection turbo engine will provide motivation for the rear wheels. It?s tipped to be good for between 110kW (150hp) to 150kW (200hp) which should be more than enough in the lightweight body.
Petrol power won?t be the sole source of motivation though. A range extending to hybrid and full electric versions is also planned. Pricing is expected to be in the vicinity of ?30,000 (AUD $57,800) for the petrol version extending up to ?50,000 (AUD $96,300) for the all-electric model, factoring in the high cost of the batteries.
The Z2 won?t go on sale before 2012 which leaves plenty of room for speculation in the meantime.
Our one request to BMW would be that it makes the Z2 a priority. (Where does the queue start?)
[Images via Auto Bild]