Japanese & German The odd couple

Auto Today|May 2020

Japanese & German The odd couple
When BMW and Toyota announced their intention of collaborating on four areas about eight years back, one of the areas identified for working together was, in the words of their joint press release, to set-up a feasibility study to define a joint platform concept for a mid-size sports car. Toyota needed an inline-6 engine to re-introduce the Supra while BMW wanted to restrict costs. Although the initial idea was to maximise on the commonality of parts, once the platform with a 1.55 ratio of wheelbase to tread was decided for the roadster and the sports coupe, both went their own ways on further developments including the tune of the engine. The resultant is the fifth-generation GR Supra and the third generation Z4

The Bavarian cruiser

The Z4 has already been launched in India and since we still have not had the opportunity to drive it in India, we decided to drive it in the US of A

The Z4 is a totally reworked car in terms of both exterior looks as well as the interiors as it has already been nearly four years that the previous generation car was discontinued. In the meantime a lot has changed at BMW and in the automotive world. The look of BMWs has changed and the one thing that the 3rd gen car is true to is the expressive styling with a lot of interplays of concave and convex surfaces. Is it overdone? Well, you might think so until you see its sibling. The grille is now modern as are the headlamps and the tail lamps. The car still retains its 2 door 2 seat configuration even though it is now based on the CLAR modular platform and also missing is the hard roof – it’s a roadster now with a fabric roof that can be put away and put on is under 10 seconds at the touch of a button whether or not the car is in motion but always only till 50kmph.

The interiors are now new gen – with the digital instrument panels that are common across all contemporary BMWs. The cockpit is sporty though quite similar to many of the other BMWs with the same central console. The engine is the same inline-6 that BMW has been using for better part of a century but now with M Performance tuning, direct injection, and TwinPower turbo tech from BMW featuring a twin-scroll turbocharger.

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May 2020