BMW has reportedly dumped plans to build a small roadster based on its 2 Series range.
Rumoured to carry the ‘Z2’ badge, the drop-top could have been something of a front-wheel-drive rival to Mazda’s rear-wheel-drive MX-5 and Fiat’s upcoming 124 Spider, but reports out of Europe suggest the plans have been shelved.
The UK’s CAR magazine reports the launch date was pencilled in for some time in 2016 with a starting price of £20,000 (AU$40,250). Instead, with sports car sales falling across global markets (and burgeoning sales of 'sporty SUVs'), BMW has now reportedly killed the model off.
In Australia, sales in the sports car segment are down 8.3 percent for 2015 to the end of May compared to the same time last year, while SUV sales are up 13.5 percent over the same period.
The 2 Series Convertible brings two extra seats over the rumoured two-seat layout of the Z2, along with rear-wheel-drive and a 240kW/450Nm six-cylinder engine in the range-topping M235i in Australia.
Pricing for the 2 Series Convertible in Australia starts at $54,900 plus on-road costs.
The report suggests the rumoured MINI Superleggera may have edged ahead of the Z2 in the eyes of BMW bean counters, with executives deciding the market isn’t big enough for both models.
The rendering (above and top of page) by designer Theophilus Chin sees the popular Z4 Zagato concept converted into a shorter and more compact concept that could have previewed the new Z2.
MORE: New BMW 1 Series - 2015 Price And Features For Revised Hatch Range
MORE News & Reviews: BMW | 2 Series | Roadsters