Originally Posted by mkoesel
I'm curious, aa, Why do you believe they'd need a new platform for a RWD Z2? It seems to me they could simply use the platform that will underpin the other F2x passenger cars.
This older post from SCOTT hints that we could see a three roadster lineup, with a new RWD entry squeezing in between the FWD Z2 and RWD Z4.
To allow this, those two could be renamed Z1 and Z5 respectively, making room for a Z3. It seems a little far fetched, but it makes some sense.
Yes there was initial debate on how to progress the Roadster family further on the level as the BMW X-line which will by 2017 incorporate X1-X6 , a very good strategic choice as BMW X models are highly profitable , a decision on a full luxury X7 will be made over the next few months. Interesting for the X7 is that BMW are not necessary looking for a super X5 in their brief and so design ideas are ranging from typical SAV proportions to very sweeping roof lines some ideas are very much influenced by the BMW RFK proposals but using that outline combined with the commanding look of an SAV to really give that BMW individuality, and a product that shows very sporting intentions but in a concept for the luxury market.
Which started as a 2 model race Z2 and Z4 has opened the possibilities , especially in regards to the FWD architrecture shared with MINI which can be used to provide even greater economies of scale. The excellence that BMW and MINI can run alongside each other and not necessary collide is evident in both the highly successful MINI Countryman and BMW X1.
One strategy amongst many is the proposal of even/odd indicating body style - kind of like the X line. Z1-Roadster , Z2-Coupe (Based with MINI FWD alignment) , Z3-Roadster , Z4 Coupe (RWD based F20 modular alignment) and Z5 Roadster , Z6 Coupe (RWD based mid-sized modular platform).
One thing is clear that there is intentions to bring back Z3 as in every case of evolution the next Z4 will become slightly larger and will retain a folding hardtop , making the move to Z5 inevitable. The Z3 allows an entry competitor retaining a softtop and a Coupe with much less weight and become a more sportier option.
Of course that is the debate and the creative and marketing process and as yet nothing is confirmed.
One thing is clear that design direction for whatever the new Z Roadster family will take , is influenced from the 2011 BMW Vision ConnectedDrive Concept Car.