Exclusive: BMW Z4M was being considered, 1-Series M-Coupe was built instead

Since the BMW Z4 roadster was succeeded by the latest iteration, which debuted in 2009, many wondered whether the famed Bavarian make was going to make a successor to the much loved Z4 M Roadster, the successor to the already referred to classic, the Z3 M-Roadster. So surely, during a little interview with the product manager of BMW’s M-Division for North America, Matt Russell, he would spare us some details.

[quote float=”left”]The current Z4 is by far the stiffest and best balanced roadsters we’ve ever made. It’s just not the right time for us to do an M streetcar of that nature. But these things can change, and we keep our fingers crossed.[/quote] Because the current Z4 roadster is already turning three-years old, usually by now, the brand would have released a hot M version of the Z4 roadster. But because we don’t have one right now, it led to the question of, well, what happened to it?

“The current Z4 is already dominant in the segment of two-seater, premium roadsters. It’s also the best seller and has been since the previous generation from 2003,” said Russell in his response. “So there are no sales issues with the car and its popularity, except for the fact that Americans—and even globally right now—customers are not buying a whole lot of two-seaters. They are usually second or third cars in peoples’ households. Right now, given the socioeconomic conditions that you see, two-seaters are just not that popular.”

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Referring back to our previous discussion regarding supercars and how a BMW supercar just wasn’t a feasible business option, sounds like that it’s much of the same story. Russell further explained as he said that even a successor to the Z4 M-Roadster and Coupe were being considered a couple years back along with a supercar. However, BMW decided to go with a different option.

“If you look at it from a larger market perspective, nobody is selling a lot of two-seaters right now. So we’re a business first and we have to look and see whether this is the best time to invest to build an M version of the Z4, and if we did, would it reverse the fact that people aren’t buying a lot of two-seaters? No, it really wouldn’t,” Russell continued. “So we elected to do the 1-Series M-Coupe instead, which is a four-seater. It has a real measure of practicality with it, while still having the same driving thrills as the original Z4 M-Coupe. This was the better route for us to go at that time, it’s a simple business decision.”

But for those still holding out on hope that BMW will reintroduce a Z4 M car, Russell did say though that it could become a possibility, should the business opportunity present itself.

“The current Z4 is by far the stiffest and best balanced roadsters we’ve ever made. It’s just not the right time for us to do an M streetcar of that nature. But these things can change, and we keep our fingers crossed,” Russell concluded.

So all-in-all, it seems like unique BMW M-Cars are becoming more of a novelty. And that could be arguably a good and/or a bad thing, depending on how you look at it. They may stick to their roots in keeping with the mass-produced M3, M5, M6, X5 and X6 M. But I’m sure many will agree, both Roundel purists and general car enthusiasts: the world needs more special M-Cars like a Z4 M-Coupe or Roadster. Or even on that note, a supercar.

All Photos Copyright © Omar Rana – egmCarTech.

– By: Chris Chin