The BMW Z5 has been spotted testing at the Nürburgring
The Z5 is the successor to the Z4
Earlier sightings of the Z5 have been in the Arctic Circle
The development car wore temporary headlights...
...but much of its bodywork looked to be production-spec
The Z5 will get a choice of turbocharged four and six-cylinder engines...
...as well as a hybrid option with four-wheel drive
The Z5 shares parts with the Toyota Supra
BMW has co-developed the Z5/Supra underpinnings with Toyota...
...and both brands could also be sharing hybrid technology
The Z5 is expected to be revealed later this year...
...before going on sale in 2018
The Z5 uses the rear axle of the M3 and M4...
..suggesting it could easily adopt those cars' 425bhp engine
Such a car would likely be launched as an M model
And could get its own, more focused chassis setup
The Z5 will use a ZF eight-speed automatic gearbox as standard...
...with a a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox fitted to an M model
In the video below, the Z4 successor can be seen wearing production-spec bodywork covered by light camouflaging. The car looks composed when cornering at pace, and can be seen wearing winglets on its nose - suggesting BMW is assessing the car's performance when under load.
Powering the Z5 will be a choice of BMW's latest turbocharged petrol engines. The Z5 sDrive30i will get a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder that produces around 248bhp, while more powerful variants will likely get a turbocharged 3.0-litre six-cylinder, shared with the M240i, producing around 335bhp.
Both engines will come with standard rear-wheel drive and a ZF eight-speed automatic gearbox.
The Z5 shares parts with the upcoming Toyota Supra, and like that car it is expected to be offered with a hybrid drivetrain. Such a drivetrain would likely come with four-wheel drive.
BMW's decision to equip the Z5 with the same rear axle as the M3 and M4 rear suggests its hardware will be compatible with the 425bhp twin-turbo 3.0-litre straight six engine of those models, or the 365bhp turbocharged 3.0-litre six-cylinder powerplant from the M2, along with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox.
This car would be badged as an M model and therefore get its own bespoke bodywork and a more focused chassis setup.
Development cars spotted earlier in the year showed the design of the car's nose, although they wore temporary headlight units. Expect the orange indicators and main beam bulbs (see picture below) to be more elegantly designed in the final production model.
It’s the fifth time we’ve seen the new model in the metal since its arrival was announced by BMW in 2015. The soft-top, two-door model is expected to be revealed later this year before sales kick-off in 2018.
Inspiration for the Toyota's design has been taken from the striking FT-1 concept, first seen at the Detroit show in 2014.