Every couple of years, like clockwork, we hear a rumor about a new, tiny BMW roadster. It's normally dubbed the BMW Z2, and it's normally supposed to slot in below the Z4. Car and Driver has the rumor again, but this time it's coming with a lot of weirdness. Three-cylinder, turbo weirdness.
If you think I'm joking about us hearing about it every couple of years, I'm not. We first reported on this sort of rumor way, way back in 2006. So treat it with the world's most enormous grain of salt. Better yet, treat it with the Dead Sea. So much salt you float in it, and it does wonderful things for your pores, and everyone wants to know why you've posted pictures of your fat, shirtless self covered in mud on Facebook, and then they hate you, because no one wants to see your fat, shirtless self, covered in mud, anywhere.
That much salt.
But! Here's why it might, maybe (probably won't be) real, at this point. C&D's report says that it'll come with a range of engines, an M version, and, gasp!, front wheel drive. That's cool, I guess, but let's be honest, a bit irrelevant to your life right now. But the biggest bombshell of the rumor is that it could come with a three-cylinder turbo engine.
Which sounds pretty boring as well. But I'm thinking a two-cylinder might be even better, like in the i3.
What would be really neat is if it uses much of the hybrid technology developed for the BMW i8 and BMW i3. The company has poured millions, if not billions, into research on hybrid powertrains, and a funky little roadster would make great business sense to an executive looking to bring hip-ness to the masses. The i8 is wildly out of reach for most people, and the i3 is an odd duck of a city car, that's also a bit pricey.
So the company needs to start finding a real return on all the investment somewhere. And why not start introducing it to the rest of the lineup with a Z2? It wouldn't be an oddball like the i3, and it wouldn't cost the same as three years of college tuition, like the i8.
I'm just hoping it'll be something like the Z1. Because if there's any BMW that says "funky hipness," it's the awesome thing with the crazy sinking doors.
BMW, it is your solemn duty to bring these back:
Photo credit: ArminFlickr