Entering below the existing Z4 range, the so-called Z2 would be a smaller, nimbler and more affordable alternative to the larger touring roadster.
Reports overseas suggest that, unlike the Mazda and its Alfa twin, the Z2 will utilise BMW's new front-wheel-drive UKL platform, rather than the rear-wheel-drive layout of the 1 Series.
Enthusiasts can likely expect an all-wheel-drive option at the top end of the range, however, in an approach similar to Mercedes' new CLA 45 AMG small performance sedan.
"One of the big advantages of UKL is that we are able to launch a lot of products almost simultaneously because we are doing the engineering at once," BMW's Ian Robertson told industry paper Automotive News last year.
"In the '90s we broke with tradition when we began selling SUVs along with our sedans. Customers realized they could get the driving dynamics BMW is renowned for from an SUV. We will see the same transition happening with front-wheel drive," Robertson added.
As a small model, the regular Z2 range would feature four-cylinder powertrains producing between 100 and 180kW, with a flagship M model delivering considerably more power.
Focusing on light-weight athleticism, the new model would likely also skip the Z4's hardtop folding roof in favour of a fabric cover.