Z2 could butt heads with the Mazda Miata.
This report comes from CAR Magazine, which claims the new car (tentatively dubbed the Z2) could show up in both coupe and convertible forms sometime around 2016. The Z2 would be part of BMW's plan to get the maximum amount of product possible out of their new front-wheel-drive platform that's also rumored to underpin the 1 Series starting in 2015.
As part of BMW's trend towards engine downsizing, power would come from a variety of three- and four-cylinder motors, likely topping out with the 2.0 liter turbocharged inline-four that begins replacing the naturally aspirated 3.0 liter inline-six in the car maker's lineup this year. That motor makes 240 horsepower and 260 lb-ft, which ought to be enough to induce some serious torque steer in any front-drive roadster. Of course, the CAR report also states that the Z2's platform also fits the Mini Countryman's AWD system, which would certainly prevent that nasty handling characteristic...but somehow, a compact AWD BMW roadster seems even more sacrilegious than a FWD one. [via CAR]
Pictured: 2010 BMW Z4