BMW Z5 1

The BMW Z5 has been spotted undergoing testing again, this time on European roads. Said to be the successor to the Z4, these images provide a much better view of the prototype sports car, unlike earlier sightings in snowy locales.

In terms of looks, the Z5 prototype doesn’t appear to differ significantly from before, possibly indicating that the car’s design has already been finalised. Details like BMW’s kidney grille and intakes are covered up in this instance with swirly-patterned camouflage.

The Z5 also retains its classic sports car proportions (long hood, short rear) and features a fabric roof as opposed to the Z4’s folding metal top, similar to earlier prototypes. BMW’s decision to adopt a soft top is likely in the interest of keeping the vehicle’s weight in check, although a fixed hard top might be on the cards as well, ala Mazda MX-5 RF.

Under its skin, the Z5 will adopt a rear-wheel drive platform that comes courtesy of a BMW-Toyota joint development. Said platform will also be used in Toyota’s new sports car, which is said to revive the ‘Supra’ nameplate, although that remains a rumour for now.

For power, BMW’s 2.0 litre four-cylinder and 3.0 litre six-cylinder are likely options, while an M version of the Z5 could benefit from the M4’s 425 hp twin-turbo straight-six unit. A six-speed manual and seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox are possibly transmission choices as well.