Blog

BMW’s new Z4 convertible is being developed alongside new Toyota Supra.

The new BMW Z4 has been officially teased for the first time, with a single, shadowy image of the new sports car, plus a promised unveiling next month.

The new Audi TT and Mercedes SLC rival will make its debut on 17 August. While that rules out a Frankfurt Motor Show reveal, it matches up nicely with the 2017 edition of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and Monterey Car Week.

Best convertible cars to buy now

With BMW choosing Pebble Beach to debut the Z4, it’s likely that we’ll see the car in concept form rather than the finished product – full debuts are few and far between at the Monterey Car Week, though concept vehicles, one-offs and special edition cars often break cover.

Therefore, we could see BMW unfurl the new Z4 in a similar manner to the all-new 8 Series, with a revealing concept vehicle to whet the appetite for the production model.Our exclusive images show how the new two-seat roadster could look when it arrives. It has already been spotted testing on multiple occasions, with the most recent spyshots showing it winter testing with a slightly more revealing disguise compared to earlier mules lapping the Nurburgring.

The new Z4 Roadster will replace the ageing second-generation model, in production since 2009, and be a fresh rival for the likes of the Porsche 718 Boxster, as well as a reborn Toyota Supra currently being developed in parallel and set to use the same platform.

It’s likely the new car will ditch the current Z4’s heavy metal folding roof for a lighter, more traditional fabric hood. This could mean it’s being aimed more towards the Porsche 718 Boxster and away from softer, more refined cars like the Mercedes SLC. The soft-top will gain a rear window for production.

An insider told us that “this car will use the same lightweight body construction as the i3 and i8. And even with that type of construction, you can expect a price around the same as that of the current Z4.”

The familiar set-back cabin, pert rear-end and long bonnet remain on the new model and the kidney grille looks to be larger than ever.

Mounted behind the front axle will be a range of BMW’s ‘TwinPower’ turbo petrol engines which will be offered in both four and six-cylinder forms. Expect at least 200bhp from base models, with top-end turbocharged straight-six variants nudging 300bhp. As before, all cars will be rear-wheel drive.

The Z4 will also use the same rear axle design as the M3 and M4, and it’s likely that a full M version will follow within a year, possibly using the M2’s 365bhp 3.0-litre straight-six.The Z4 also provides a base for Toyota’s new super-coupe. Rumours suggest it will bring back the iconic ‘Supra’ name, though unlike the Z4 Roadster it’ll be a hard-top coupe, influenced by the FT-1 concept from 2014.

The Toyota version has potential to receive a plug-in hybrid model, with electric motors boosting output instead of a turbocharger.

BRIDGE CONSTRUCTION: Massive scaffolding installed at new Long Beach bridge in California

The 3.1 million-lb scaffolding system is contributing to the replacement of the 50-year-old Gerald Desmond Bridge

Construction crews lifted a massive 3.1 million-lb piece of scaffolding on Tuesday in Long Beach, Calif., as part of the construction of a bridge connecting Long Beach to Terminal Island.

Workers in hard hats looked to the sky as a crew hoisted the $10 million steel piece of equipment designed in Norway and constructed in China, then moved by a super-powered jack. Longer than two football fields, the scaffolding system eliminates less reliable, traditional wooden scaffolding systems that can be more easily knocked out by wind or an earthquake.

1

Construction crews

Construction crews lifted a massive 3.1 million-lb piece of scaffolding on Tuesday in Long Beach, Calif., as part of the construction of a bridge connecting Long Beach to Terminal Island.

2

Workers

Workers in hard hats looked to the sky as a crew hoisted the $10 million steel piece of equipment designed in Norway and constructed in China, then moved by a super-powered jack. Longer than two football fields, the scaffolding system eliminates less reliable, traditional wooden scaffolding systems that can be more easily knocked out by wind or an earthquake.

3

The equipment

Already the equipment has helped build the westbound approach to the bridge, which will replace the 50-year old Gerald Desmond Bridge. The total cost of the project has reached $1.5 billion.

4

Cable-stayed bridge

The cable-stayed bridge is touted by city officials and developers as a project that will redefine the Long Beach skyline, with two massive towers where cables will string out alongside the six-lane, 1.5-mile roadway.

5

Construction

Although construction is more than halfway complete, the bridge is one year behind schedule and $500 million over budget. The eastbound lanes and the main span still need to be finished before cars can barrel along the highway. It is scheduled to open in late 2018.

Airlines’ belief in the Airbus superjumbo is faltering

ONE of the most insightful responses to a Gulliver article was below the line of a post about air turbulence, and how flyers often overestimate its effects. The mysterious “guest-nialmnj” wrote:
No amount of fancy aeronautical engineering calculations can change the fact that the notion of any vehicle of such vast weight and size actually flying is patently absurd; planes are clearly kept aloft by sorcery and the collective (if misguided) belief of their passengers. This so-called turbulence arises when the faith of some of those passengers falters for a moment.

Gulliver lives just a few miles


@ArlinesTechnologies

Gulliver lives just a few miles east of Heathrow on the flight path. He often sits in his garden and watches A380 jumbos fly overhead, less than a minute into their enchanted journeys to the Middle East or Asia. He knows guest-nialmnj to be a sage. Watching beasts as mighty as Airbus’s double-deck leviathan take to the air is enough to make one wonder at the laws of physics.

Gulliver lives just a few miles east of Heathrow on the flight path. He often sits in his garden and watches A380 jumbos fly overhead, less than a minute into their enchanted journeys to the Middle East or Asia. He knows guest-nialmnj to be a sage. Watching beasts as mighty as Airbus’s double-deck leviathan take to the air is enough to make one wonder at the laws of physics.

Alas, such a magnificent sight may well become less common in the future. Not because the collective belief of the passengers has failed, but because that of airlines has.

On 14th September, Singapore Airlines (SIA) announced that it would not be renewing the lease on five of its A380s when the ten-year contract expires next year. It said that it has not made a decision on its remaining four leased Airbus jumbos, though there is a good chance that they, too, will be consigned to SIA’s history.

loading