New 2018 BMW Z4 leaked: see the new Porsche Boxster rival

More images of BMW's new Z4 roadster have hit the web ahead of its Pebble Beach debut

More leaked images of the new BMW Z4 have hit the web, this time what looks to be official shots of the new Audi TT rival surfacing online via Belgian site Autotijd complete with full interior shots. 

We’ve already seen the car’s exterior plenty of times. Two separate earlier leaks confirmed the new Z4’s design, with official patent sketches letting the cat out of the bag a few weeks ago, and a handful of first candid pictures of the firm’s new Porsche Boxter rival appearing on social media earlier this week. As you can see, it remains strikingly close to last year’s Z4 concept, revealed at the 2017 Monterey Car Week. It’s expected that the new car will debut at the 2018 edition of the Californian event later this month.

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This latest leak serves up a look inside though, confirming that the Z4 will move to new generation BMW infotainment tech. The firm’s latest iDrive system will be linked up to a redesigned infotainment screen and centre console setup, while brand new digital dials are also spotted behind the steering wheel.

The car here is an M40i model, which we’ve already driven covered up in prototype form. Power comes from a 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged straight six developing 340bhp and 500Nm of torque, with drive sent to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox.

Like the Concept Z4, the production car features a soft-top fabric roof. However, the concept’s buttresses have disappeared for a smoother and more considered shape. The widened kidney grille at the front is instantly noticeable, giving the Mk3 Z4 an aggressive appearance similar to the forthcoming 8 Series. The headlamps however are rounder and less menacing, complemented by the large air intakes situated in the bumper.

More traditional wing mirrors are noted on the production car, in comparison to the Concept Z4’s slim, narrow mirrors. The angular grooves along the doors remain, with a traditional vent just ahead of the door seam. The i8-style rear end also features, debuting a similarly slim tail-light design. A pair of round exhausts has replaced the Concept Z4’s pentagonal design. Paired with the looks of the new 8 Series Concept, BMW’s new design language featured on the new Z4 reveals where the German manufacturer is taking the styling of its next generation of cars.

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New BMW Z4 engines and performance

BMW is keeping tight-lipped over what engines will power the Z4, but it’s expected both the 2.0-litre four-cylinder and 3.0-litre six-cylinder turbocharged units will feature with outputs ranging from 187 to 340bhp and we would expect a PHEV ‘e’-badged version too. We expect the M40i range-topper to feature from launch, but whether there will be a full-fat M version remains to be seen. This next generation Z4 promises a more focussed driving experience, so the chances of BMW launching a 400bhp Porsche 718 Boxster GTS rival are pretty high.

Q&A with Marc Girard, head of BMW Concept DesignWhat is the inspiration behind the Concept Z4?

“From our heritage, but we want to reinterpret everything at the same time. We’re not doing retro, we want to reinvent key items like the kidneys and headlights and the goal is to make all our cars full of character, keeping the iconic design cues but newly translated for each model.”

How would you say the Concept Z4 differs from the outgoing model?

“The top topic when designing the car was the ‘Ultimate Driving Machine’. To make it more agile we reduced the wheelbase – from a semantic standpoint it clearly tells the story that the driver is in the middle of everything.”

So it sounds like it will be sportier than the previous Z4?

“What we want to convey with the proportions is clearly performance – it’s a driver’s car, it’s a sports car, it’s super agile, it’s light-footed and extremely dynamic.”

How close is the Concept to the production car?

“We are basically previewing the production car. Here we have 80 per cent of the hard core engineering requirements in terms of aerodynamics and cooling and things like that so we are, in effect, previewing a close to production model.”

What’s your favourite part?

“That’s hard to say, but I particularly like the fairings behind the headrests with the carbon fibre insert that goes all the way inside and the milled one-piece aluminium which is semi clear coated and semi matt – they’re gorgeous pieces of sculpture.”

And what’s underneath the Concept?

“Oh, a normal BMW engine… we had plenty of choice!”

Do you like the look of the BMW Concept Z4? Let us know below…

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