Revolutions and angry amphibians: What people think of the BMW Concept Z4

Every year at Monterey Car Week, automakers roll out concepts that, while stunning in design, likely will not reach production. BMW, however, took the stage in Pebble Beach, Calif., last week to display its Concept Z4. The concept previews the next-generation Z4 roadster, which will have a platform shared with Toyota Motor Corp. and captures the automaker’s new design language, BMW says. Here’s what people are saying about the concept roadster.

“The revolution begins in the front, where the Concept Z4 displays the most aggressive shark nose since the original 6-series. The air intakes are low and wide, and the headlights have their light signatures stacked on top of each other. BMW tries to pass off this look as a nod to the Z8. The Concept Z4’s grille replaces the typical vertical slats with a three-dimensional mesh pattern that might not make it into production.”

Jens Meiners, Car and Driver

“Double speed humps project an old school roadster charm while directing your eyes toward the rear of the car, which resembles Infiniti’s Q60 coupe except with slimmer, L-shaped lights.

“Inside the cabin, there’s a two-tone duality that separates the driver and passenger with contrasting brown and black leather … and that’s where BMW’s fresh design flourishes end, as the rest of the cabin is very similar to the rest of the current BMW lineup. This isn’t a wild concept in any stretch of the imagination.”

Jonathon Klein, Automobile

“Let’s start with the good news — it looks simply amazing! The car gives us a different take on BMW’s evolutionary design, but features sharper, more dynamic, and sculptured lines with super aggressive front end, and nearly perfect proportions (why not longer hood and front overhang?). What we like especially are the sleek headlights and the massive air intakes in the sporty front bumper. Those 20-inch two-tone, five twin-spoke wheels are a perfect match for the muscular fenders. The rear end is dominated by wide vertical taillights and an attractive diffuser.

“The interior is pretty as well. It retains the basic layout of BMW’s current production models, but features minimalistic design.”

Anthony Karr, Motor1.com

“In terms of traditional roadster aesthetics, it’s all here. There’s a low-slung body, a long hood, room for just two people and a roof that doesn’t look like it’ll be all that fun to have up. The seats are practically resting atop the rear axle, which makes the car look fast even while sitting still. The headlights sit rather high on the car — BMW points to the Z8 for inspiration here.

“Inside is actually pretty straightforward. It’s very car-like, with a collection of physical switches for certain vehicle and infotainment functions. There’s a somewhat-standard-looking shifter in place, and an infotainment screen that rises from the dash just as it would in other new Bimmers.

“Of course, there are some ridiculous flourishes in there. There’s a lap timer built into the bottom of the steering wheel, the gauges look like they’re from a different decade, and the seats are two different colors — and two different materials entirely. It’s a very serious car, since it’s destined for production, but BMW still had a load of fun putting this together, it appears.”

Andrew Krok, Roadshow by CNET

“A new wedge silhouette, painted flashy Energetic Orange, packs more visual motion than the curvy current-generation Z4 two-seater, but it remains true to its roots. It retains the roadster’s long hood and bobtail proportions sitting low on a long wheelbase. BMW says, however, that the driver is moved a bit closer to the midpoint of the car.”

Fred Meier, Cars.com

“The biggest surprise here might actually be the name. We’ve assumed all along that BMW would call its upcoming roadster the Z5, but clearly, we were wrong. Considering this is a concept, details could change before production. But considering how production-ready the Concept Z4 looks, especially in the interior, we get the impression that, at least design-wise, this is pretty much what you’ll see when the roadster lands on dealer lots.

“Compared to the current car, the new Z4 gets a much more aggressive look. The front and rear borrow a lot from the 8 Series Concept that BMW revealed a few months ago, both with the stretched, horizontal twin-kidney grille and the massive air intakes. Sadly, while BMW says the Z4’s “trio of large air intakes are a nod to the powerful engine further back,” it hasn’t said what that engine will actually be or how much power it’ll make. And while the headlights are supposed to be part of the Z4’s aggressive new look, we have to admit that when viewed from the front, it’s got a little bit of an ‘angry amphibian’ feel to it.”

Collin Woodard, Motor Trend

“The revolution begins in the front, where the Concept Z4 displays the most aggressive shark nose since the original 6-series. The air intakes are low and wide, and the headlights have their light signatures stacked on top of each other. BMW tries to pass off this look as a nod to the Z8. The Concept Z4’s grille replaces the typical vertical slats with a three-dimensional mesh pattern that might not make it into production.”

Jens Meiners, Car and Driver

“Double speed humps project an old school roadster charm while directing your eyes toward the rear of the car, which resembles Infiniti’s Q60 coupe except with slimmer, L-shaped lights.

“Inside the cabin, there’s a two-tone duality that separates the driver and passenger with contrasting brown and black leather … and that’s where BMW’s fresh design flourishes end, as the rest of the cabin is very similar to the rest of the current BMW lineup. This isn’t a wild concept in any stretch of the imagination.”

Jonathon Klein, Automobile

“Let’s start with the good news — it looks simply amazing! The car gives us a different take on BMW’s evolutionary design, but features sharper, more dynamic, and sculptured lines with super aggressive front end, and nearly perfect proportions (why not longer hood and front overhang?). What we like especially are the sleek headlights and the massive air intakes in the sporty front bumper. Those 20-inch two-tone, five twin-spoke wheels are a perfect match for the muscular fenders. The rear end is dominated by wide vertical taillights and an attractive diffuser.

“The interior is pretty as well. It retains the basic layout of BMW’s current production models, but features minimalistic design.”

Anthony Karr, Motor1.com

“In terms of traditional roadster aesthetics, it’s all here. There’s a low-slung body, a long hood, room for just two people and a roof that doesn’t look like it’ll be all that fun to have up. The seats are practically resting atop the rear axle, which makes the car look fast even while sitting still. The headlights sit rather high on the car — BMW points to the Z8 for inspiration here.

“Inside is actually pretty straightforward. It’s very car-like, with a collection of physical switches for certain vehicle and infotainment functions. There’s a somewhat-standard-looking shifter in place, and an infotainment screen that rises from the dash just as it would in other new Bimmers.

“Of course, there are some ridiculous flourishes in there. There’s a lap timer built into the bottom of the steering wheel, the gauges look like they’re from a different decade, and the seats are two different colors — and two different materials entirely. It’s a very serious car, since it’s destined for production, but BMW still had a load of fun putting this together, it appears.”

Andrew Krok, Roadshow by CNET

“A new wedge silhouette, painted flashy Energetic Orange, packs more visual motion than the curvy current-generation Z4 two-seater, but it remains true to its roots. It retains the roadster’s long hood and bobtail proportions sitting low on a long wheelbase. BMW says, however, that the driver is moved a bit closer to the midpoint of the car.”

Fred Meier, Cars.com

“The biggest surprise here might actually be the name. We’ve assumed all along that BMW would call its upcoming roadster the Z5, but clearly, we were wrong. Considering this is a concept, details could change before production. But considering how production-ready the Concept Z4 looks, especially in the interior, we get the impression that, at least design-wise, this is pretty much what you’ll see when the roadster lands on dealer lots.

“Compared to the current car, the new Z4 gets a much more aggressive look. The front and rear borrow a lot from the 8 Series Concept that BMW revealed a few months ago, both with the stretched, horizontal twin-kidney grille and the massive air intakes. Sadly, while BMW says the Z4’s “trio of large air intakes are a nod to the powerful engine further back,” it hasn’t said what that engine will actually be or how much power it’ll make. And while the headlights are supposed to be part of the Z4’s aggressive new look, we have to admit that when viewed from the front, it’s got a little bit of an ‘angry amphibian’ feel to it.”

Collin Woodard, Motor Trend

.

“The revolution begins in the front, where the Concept Z4 displays the most aggressive shark nose since the original 6-series. The air intakes are low and wide, and the headlights have their light signatures stacked on top of each other. BMW tries to pass off this look as a nod to the Z8. The Concept Z4’s grille replaces the typical vertical slats with a three-dimensional mesh pattern that might not make it into production.”

Jens Meiners, Car and Driver

“Double speed humps project an old school roadster charm while directing your eyes toward the rear of the car, which resembles Infiniti’s Q60 coupe except with slimmer, L-shaped lights.

“Inside the cabin, there’s a two-tone duality that separates the driver and passenger with contrasting brown and black leather … and that’s where BMW’s fresh design flourishes end, as the rest of the cabin is very similar to the rest of the current BMW lineup. This isn’t a wild concept in any stretch of the imagination.”

Jonathon Klein, Automobile

“Let’s start with the good news — it looks simply amazing! The car gives us a different take on BMW’s evolutionary design, but features sharper, more dynamic, and sculptured lines with super aggressive front end, and nearly perfect proportions (why not longer hood and front overhang?). What we like especially are the sleek headlights and the massive air intakes in the sporty front bumper. Those 20-inch two-tone, five twin-spoke wheels are a perfect match for the muscular fenders. The rear end is dominated by wide vertical taillights and an attractive diffuser.

“The interior is pretty as well. It retains the basic layout of BMW’s current production models, but features minimalistic design.”

Anthony Karr, Motor1.com

“In terms of traditional roadster aesthetics, it’s all here. There’s a low-slung body, a long hood, room for just two people and a roof that doesn’t look like it’ll be all that fun to have up. The seats are practically resting atop the rear axle, which makes the car look fast even while sitting still. The headlights sit rather high on the car — BMW points to the Z8 for inspiration here.

“Inside is actually pretty straightforward. It’s very car-like, with a collection of physical switches for certain vehicle and infotainment functions. There’s a somewhat-standard-looking shifter in place, and an infotainment screen that rises from the dash just as it would in other new Bimmers.

“Of course, there are some ridiculous flourishes in there. There’s a lap timer built into the bottom of the steering wheel, the gauges look like they’re from a different decade, and the seats are two different colors — and two different materials entirely. It’s a very serious car, since it’s destined for production, but BMW still had a load of fun putting this together, it appears.”

Andrew Krok, Roadshow by CNET

“A new wedge silhouette, painted flashy Energetic Orange, packs more visual motion than the curvy current-generation Z4 two-seater, but it remains true to its roots. It retains the roadster’s long hood and bobtail proportions sitting low on a long wheelbase. BMW says, however, that the driver is moved a bit closer to the midpoint of the car.”

Fred Meier, Cars.com

“The biggest surprise here might actually be the name. We’ve assumed all along that BMW would call its upcoming roadster the Z5, but clearly, we were wrong. Considering this is a concept, details could change before production. But considering how production-ready the Concept Z4 looks, especially in the interior, we get the impression that, at least design-wise, this is pretty much what you’ll see when the roadster lands on dealer lots.

“Compared to the current car, the new Z4 gets a much more aggressive look. The front and rear borrow a lot from the 8 Series Concept that BMW revealed a few months ago, both with the stretched, horizontal twin-kidney grille and the massive air intakes. Sadly, while BMW says the Z4’s “trio of large air intakes are a nod to the powerful engine further back,” it hasn’t said what that engine will actually be or how much power it’ll make. And while the headlights are supposed to be part of the Z4’s aggressive new look, we have to admit that when viewed from the front, it’s got a little bit of an ‘angry amphibian’ feel to it.”

Collin Woodard, Motor Trend

“The revolution begins in the front, where the Concept Z4 displays the most aggressive shark nose since the original 6-series. The air intakes are low and wide, and the headlights have their light signatures stacked on top of each other. BMW tries to pass off this look as a nod to the Z8. The Concept Z4’s grille replaces the typical vertical slats with a three-dimensional mesh pattern that might not make it into production.”

Jens Meiners, Car and Driver

“Double speed humps project an old school roadster charm while directing your eyes toward the rear of the car, which resembles Infiniti’s Q60 coupe except with slimmer, L-shaped lights.

“Inside the cabin, there’s a two-tone duality that separates the driver and passenger with contrasting brown and black leather … and that’s where BMW’s fresh design flourishes end, as the rest of the cabin is very similar to the rest of the current BMW lineup. This isn’t a wild concept in any stretch of the imagination.”

Jonathon Klein, Automobile

“Let’s start with the good news — it looks simply amazing! The car gives us a different take on BMW’s evolutionary design, but features sharper, more dynamic, and sculptured lines with super aggressive front end, and nearly perfect proportions (why not longer hood and front overhang?). What we like especially are the sleek headlights and the massive air intakes in the sporty front bumper. Those 20-inch two-tone, five twin-spoke wheels are a perfect match for the muscular fenders. The rear end is dominated by wide vertical taillights and an attractive diffuser.

“The interior is pretty as well. It retains the basic layout of BMW’s current production models, but features minimalistic design.”

Anthony Karr, Motor1.com

“In terms of traditional roadster aesthetics, it’s all here. There’s a low-slung body, a long hood, room for just two people and a roof that doesn’t look like it’ll be all that fun to have up. The seats are practically resting atop the rear axle, which makes the car look fast even while sitting still. The headlights sit rather high on the car — BMW points to the Z8 for inspiration here.

“Inside is actually pretty straightforward. It’s very car-like, with a collection of physical switches for certain vehicle and infotainment functions. There’s a somewhat-standard-looking shifter in place, and an infotainment screen that rises from the dash just as it would in other new Bimmers.

“Of course, there are some ridiculous flourishes in there. There’s a lap timer built into the bottom of the steering wheel, the gauges look like they’re from a different decade, and the seats are two different colors — and two different materials entirely. It’s a very serious car, since it’s destined for production, but BMW still had a load of fun putting this together, it appears.”

Andrew Krok, Roadshow by CNET

“A new wedge silhouette, painted flashy Energetic Orange, packs more visual motion than the curvy current-generation Z4 two-seater, but it remains true to its roots. It retains the roadster’s long hood and bobtail proportions sitting low on a long wheelbase. BMW says, however, that the driver is moved a bit closer to the midpoint of the car.”

Fred Meier, Cars.com

“The biggest surprise here might actually be the name. We’ve assumed all along that BMW would call its upcoming roadster the Z5, but clearly, we were wrong. Considering this is a concept, details could change before production. But considering how production-ready the Concept Z4 looks, especially in the interior, we get the impression that, at least design-wise, this is pretty much what you’ll see when the roadster lands on dealer lots.

“Compared to the current car, the new Z4 gets a much more aggressive look. The front and rear borrow a lot from the 8 Series Concept that BMW revealed a few months ago, both with the stretched, horizontal twin-kidney grille and the massive air intakes. Sadly, while BMW says the Z4’s “trio of large air intakes are a nod to the powerful engine further back,” it hasn’t said what that engine will actually be or how much power it’ll make. And while the headlights are supposed to be part of the Z4’s aggressive new look, we have to admit that when viewed from the front, it’s got a little bit of an ‘angry amphibian’ feel to it.”

Collin Woodard, Motor Trend