While BMW and Toyota have been co-developing the next generation architecture for their respective sports cars – the Z for the Bavarians and the return of the Supra for the Japanese – for quite some time, we’re only now catching the Z on the Nurburgring.
The Bavarian brand hasn’t even confirmed the logical Z5 progression nameplate for their own version, but at least we’re seeing the development is in full swing, with the engineers taking it to the Green Hell to hone the aero and driving skills of the small roadster. The automaker is apparently very serious about delivering some great aero skills – notice the aggressive winglets on the sides of the front apron, though there’s also a chance those won’t reach the production version and are only used for assistance at this phase. But that’s another hint BMW is looking to write off the Z4 and return to the handling prowess roots of the Z3.
The return to basics is also emphasized by the switch back to a fabric roof like on the Z3 instead of the more expensive and less lightweight metal assembly of the Z4. The rumors are still debating on what engine will be used inside the new Z – some talk about the M140i – but any decision has been reached by BMW seems like a sensible one, given the aggressive soundtrack displayed during the Nurburgring pass.