Have your first look at BMW's next great sports car

BMW Z4 ConceptBMWThe BMW Z4 Concept.

On Thursday, BMW unveiled the new Z4 Concept sports car at the 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in Monterey, California.

The stylish new concept is the automaker’s interpretation of what the purebred sports car of the future should be.

“The BMW Concept Z4 is an all-out driving machine,” BMW Group senior vice president of design Adrian van Hooydonk said in a statement. “Stripping the car back to the bare essentials allows the driver to experience all the ingredients of motoring pleasure with supreme directness. This is total freedom on four wheels.”

However, the reality is that the Z4 Concept is really a thinly veiled precursor to the upcoming production Z4 sports car that’s expected to launch sometime in 2018.

And at first glance, the new Z4 certainly looks promising.

BMW’s signature kidney grills and the shark nose front end have both been updated for Z4 duty. Much of the front fascia bears a strong resemblance to the Concept 8 the company debuted in May. That car will soon become the production 8 Series coupe.

The production Z4 is a joint project between BMW and Toyota. The platform will also underpin a Toyota sports car that’s expected to be the long-awaited successor to the Supra.

According to Car and Driver, the Z4 will be powered by a 3.0 inline-six-cylinder engine with as much as 360 horsepower on tap. Fortunately for enthusiasts, it is expected to be available with a traditional manual transmission. Unfortunately, the Toyota is rumoured to be only available with an automatic.

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