BMW has published the first images of a concept car that will influence the look and feel of the third-generation Z4.

BMW Z4 concept front

Compared to the rest of the BMW range, the roadster is a little long in the tooth. The current second-gen model has been about since 2009, with the German brand focusing instead on its hybrid tech (i3, i8), as well as strengthening its superb range of passenger cars (3, 5 and 7 Series).

BMW Z4 concept side

The middle of August is probably the perfect time to show off a top-down two-seater though and what we now know about the Concept Z4 suggests it will give the Mazda MX-5 a few sleepless nights.

Compared to the current model, the concept has a shorter bonnet, although you probably wouldn’t be able to tell from these images due to the sloping windscreen.

BMW Z4 concept above

As with any decent concept car, there are lots of cool design traits to point and swoon at, most notably, the vertically stacked headlamps, the wide signature kidney grille and broad, stretched nose, as well as slimline rear lamps and metallic rollover bars.

BMW Z4 concept grille

It remains unclear which engines will be offered but it’s highly likely to come with a 194bhp two-litre turbocharged petrol unit, linked to a six-speed manual gearbox. An eight-speed auto option will also be available too.

The cabin doesn’t get too carried away and it’s easy to see much of its look making the production model.

BMW Z4 concept interior

All the controls are grouped into ‘function islands’ with nothing distracting from the driving experience. Trim elements inside the cabin are minimalist but classy, with carefully applied polished chrome accents and swish, hexagonal laser-cut motifs in the seats. Carbon-fibre door sill finishers and embossed asymmetrical logos in the seats and instrument panel are worthy finishing touches.

BMW Z4 concept above

Adrian van Hooydonk, senior vice president for BMW Group Design, said the new Z4 will be “an all-out driving machine”.

He added: “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.”

BMW Z4 concept rear

We’ll find out if he’s a man of his word when the series-production Z4 is unveiled over the course of the next year.

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