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BMW Z4 for Auto Africa?

2002-06-27 08:23

Bangle's tail treatment - a la 7-Series - is evident here

The news is out - the next generation BMW Z3 - some call it the Z4 - is on its way, and we have the pictures to prove it!

Click here for Z4 photo gallery

As with all the latest cars coming out of BMW, it has been extensively worked on by BMW's chief designer Chris Bangle, and has his hallmark look - heavy frontal and tail treatment, with fairly bland side styling compared to the previous retro-look Z3.

Bangle says the rear side design is supposed to represent "flames", but we can't see it.

The good news is that this roadster has been designed from the wheels up to be just that, instead of a re-work on a sedan chassis (the old BMW Compact), as the current Z3 was.

That means it's stiffer, rides better, handles better, and is more able to cope with the 3.2-litre 252 kW M3 engine, as well as the 170 kW 3-litre and even a 142 kW 3-litre diesel version.

Other versions include a 4 cylinder 2-litre producing 105kW, and "small" sixes of 2.2-litres with 125kW on tap, and a 2.5-litre producing 142kW.

There have also been hints that it's got more interior room, as well as a bigger boot.

BMW is keeping extremely quiet about this one, but it's pegged for launch at the Paris Motor Show in September - which means we might even see it at the Auto Africa Expo in Johannesburg in October.

Click here for Z4 photo gallery

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