The impending BMW Z5 Roadster has just been filmed in the midst of testing for the very first time ahead of an expected launch in 2017.
This spy video reveals that the Z4’s successor will have a folding soft top rather than a removable hard top. This is a U-turn after the hard-top Z4, but it will have the benefit of lowering the center of gravity and reducing overall weight.
Beyond replacing the Z4 in the German firm’s current lineup, the Z5 will be particularly important as it’s been co-developed with Toyota alongside the next-generation Supra.
Both the new Z5 and the Supra are tipped to use the same platform – but other than that, will feature bespoke engines and totally unique designs – unlike the Toyota GT86 and Subaru BRZ duo, which are all but identical.
It’s been speculated that the new roadster will be available with two turbocharged engines. The entry-level 2.0-liter unit could offer up around 241 hp and 350 Nm of torque while the larger six-cylinder should pump out 335 hp and 450 Nm. Small chance of seeing the rumored 470 hp plug-in hybrid, though, unless Munich decides it won’t hurt the exotic i8 sales.