It’s been six years since BMW inked an agreement to develop a sports car with Toyota, and after countless spyshots, a concept car and several leaked photos and patent images, it’s finally time for the new G29 BMW Z4 to shine. Munich has released a few photos of the two-seater roadster on its debut at Pebble Beach, and while the company has been light on the details, there’s still much to unpack.

As we’ve seen in the aforementioned slew of leaks, the design of the Z4 remains relatively faithful to the show car introduced this time last year, with sportier, more compact proportions compared to its predecessor’s laid-back look. At the front, the large trapezoidal kidney grilles – filled with small pins rather than the usual slats – are flanked by vertical headlights with hexagonal “corona ring” daytime running lights.

Meanwhile, the bonnet features distinctive twin strakes along the surface, while the scalloped sides flow upwards and outwards from the Air Breather vents, intersecting with the three-dimensional L-shaped tail lights and integrated ducktail rear spoiler. Unlike the old E89, the new G29 features a soft-top instead of a folding metal roof, returning to the recipe of Z roadsters prior.

Inside, the new Z4 follows the template set by the G05 X5, with a more modern and upmarket design. There are silvered air vents, a tall centre tunnel with a redesigned control panel (now incorporating the starter button) around the shorter, stumpier gearlever and a large centre display panel connected to the new, fully-digital instrument display. The latter comes complete with a reverse-direction rev counter.

Only one variant has been confirmed so far and it’s the M Performance model, the M40i. It gets a 3.0 litre turbocharged straight-six from the M140i and M240i, making 340 hp and sending power to the rear wheels via a transaxle – enabling the Z4 to sprint to 100 km/h in 4.6 seconds. Although transmission options have yet to be divulged, it’s likely that the M40i will only be offered with an eight-speed automatic – just like the A90 Toyota Supra on which it’s based.

Also fitted are sports suspension with adaptive dampers, an M Sport braking system and an M Sport electronic limited-slip differential. The Z4’s central driving position, low centre of gravity, perfect 50:50 weight distribution, wide tracks and short wheelbase are said to provide “inspiringly agile handling and intense driving pleasure.” Those are some big claims.

Setting the M40i apart visually is the M Sport package that includes a more aggressive front apron with an exaggerated U-shaped air scoop, fake rear vents and a larger rear diffuser with integrated twin trapezoidal exhausts. A First Edition version will be made available for the M40i, sporting matte Frozen Orange metallic paint, gloss black exterior trim, black door mirror caps and 19-inch two-tone alloy wheels.

The First Edition also boasts black Vernasca leather with decorative stitching, plus standard equipment that includes adaptive LED headlights with a matrix high beam function, a head-up display, the new BMW Live Cockpit Professional infotainment system, power-adjustable seats with memory, ambient lighting and a Harman Kardon Surround Sound System.

More details of the new BMW Z4 will be announced on September 19 ahead of its full world premiere at the Paris Motor Show later that month. A market launch will commence starting next spring.