The BMW Z4 Concept has officially been unveiled – the roadster study, which previews the next-gen Z4 that will arrive in 2018, made its world premiere at the Concours d’Elegance in Pebble Beach.

The new Z4, of which prototype mules have already been spied, should prove to be quite a visual treat in production form, if the cues presented by the concept are any indication.

The open-top two-seater bears classical roadster design cues such as a long wheelbase and a low-slung, stretched silhouette, but borrows styling elements of the new design language seen on the Concept 8 Series study.

Taut-looking, with a wedge-shaped outline and large Air Breathers behind the front wheels leading into muscular haunches, the Z4 study features a short bonnet and close overhangs, which provide proportions that place the driver closer to the centre of the vehicle than in the E85 and E89 Z4s.

The concept sits on 20-inch twin five-spoke wheels and wears an Energetic Orange frozen exterior paint finish, which the automaker says helps accentuate the three-dimensionality of the exterior surfaces and lines in a big way.

The interior, which features a driver-focused layout, with the instrument cluster and central information display have been positioned close to each other to offer the impression of a single, cohesive unit.

The driver’s side of the cabin gets a healthy dose of black – the driver’s seat, door trim panels, instrument panel and centre stack encircling the driver are all finished entirely in the shade, the route chosen to offer contrast against the bright exterior work.

Flourish is provided by hexagonal laser-cut motifs in the seats, carbon-fibre door sill finishers as well as embossed asymmetrical logos in the seats and instrument panel.

As already reported, the next-generation Z4 is being developed together with Toyota, with the Japanese company also having its own car from the joint venture project, in this case a new Supra.

Reports have indicated that both cars will share the same platform and general elements, but will wear their makers’ respective powertrains and drivetrains. Word is also that the BMW will only be offered as a drop-top, and the Toyota a coupe, to keep both offerings distinct.

No official mention yet of the engines that will go on the series production offering, but the car is expected to enter the market with BMW’s range of four- and six-cylinder turbocharged engines, in this case the B48 four-cylinder turbo petrol in two states of output tune and a B58 turbocharged inline-six.

Also set to come about is a range-topping variant featuring a hybrid powertrain with capacitors and all-wheel-drive. The production version of the E89 replacement is slated to go on sale sometime next year.

GALLERY: New BMW Z4 roadster prototype